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July 1, 2024

Powerful Vocabulary Activities to Boost Reading Comprehension

One of the key contributors to skilled reading success is the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge a student brings to a text. A rich and varied vocabulary allows students to comprehend complex texts, make inferences, and engage with literature on a deeper level. Try placing your knowledge of the word “egregious” on the continuum below. How deep is your understanding of the word?

In order to foster deep vocabulary knowledge, teachers can implement activities that encourage active processing like:

  • Word Associations – Ask which words go with which sentences.
    • For new words accomplice and philanthropist, ask: Which word goes with crook? 
  • Sentence Stems – Ask students to complete a sentence
    • “The coach said he was a novice on the ice rink because …
  • Examples – Ask students to provide examples of the word in use.
    • What is something you could do to impress your teacher?
  • Classification – Ask students to place a set of words into categories.
    • Categorize habitat words into “wetland” “ocean” “rainforest” groups.

Grab our Road Map for Vocabulary Instruction to start planning your robust vocab activities!

To help you on your journey towards more robust vocabulary instruction, we’ve created a comprehensive course, 5327: Structured Vocabulary Practices for Robust Word Learning. Not only will participants explore the brain science behind vocabulary development, but they’ll also learn vocabulary’s connection to reading comprehension– an essential outcome of any English Language Arts curriculum (content area curriculum, too). You’ll learn about the key components of vocabulary instruction and how to prioritize the most impactful words from a text.


About the Author

Marcee Harris is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Teaching Channel. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Sociology, as well as an M.A. Ed. in Education. Marcee specializes in curriculum development, maintaining and updating our course catalog, and partners with her Teaching Channel teammates to ensure customer success. Marcee is our resident expert for everything related to EdTech and the Science of Reading.

Fun Fact: Marcee used to be a professional cheerleader!

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