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Vocabulary Learning Strategy Instruction

Step 2: Model in Class

Mr. Barsky wants to model dictionary use, so he projects a text all of his students have access to.

Okay, we’re going to read this short text about the history of soccer together, but there may be some difficult words in there! So, I’ll have my dictionary ready.

He begins to read and think aloud...

Records trace the history of soccer back more than 2,000 years ago…trace back - what does that mean?

I’ll check my dictionary. T…TR…TRACE, there it is. To follow something to its beginning. To draw something.

I don’t think we draw the history of soccer, so I think that means soccer’s history began more than 2,000 years ago.

As he continues to read together with students, he stops and looks up other academic vocabulary that might pose a challenge, such as transitioned, credited with, and forbiddingAfter he finishes, he asks students about the steps of the strategy.

When you see an unknown word, what do you do?

Read the full sentence and STOP!

That's right! Then look up the word in your dictionary. After you find the word, what do you do?

Read the definition to make sure we understand it.

Very good! But what if there's more than one definition?

We read them all and choose the one that best fits the sentence.

Exactly. Then, re-read the sentence to yourself with the new definition you found to see if it makes sense.

When he feels that they have recognized his modeling and are ready to proceed, he moves on. If one aspect of the strategy was not as easily recognized by his students, he repeats that step and explicitly states what he’s doing as he himself demonstrates the steps.

Vocabulary Learning Strategy Instruction

  1. Demonstrate the strategy
  2. Asks students about the steps of the strategy to check comprehension
  3. Repeat any steps that students seem uncertain about

Step 2: Model in Class