UNIT 3: How can academic vocabulary instruction be implemented across the curriculum?


ETAP 623 Spring 2014 | Introduction | UNIT 1 | UNIT 2 | UNIT 3

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Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn to integrate Marzano's Six-Step process into Tier Two words direct vocabulary instruction.
  • Participants will apply the demonstrated strategies and tools to their lesson plan's instructional text to facilitate direct instruction of general academic terms.

Application of Strategies and Tools Used in Vocabulary Instruction

The first rule of direct vocabulary instruction is to explain, not define target terms. This section will explain by demonstrating how you can implement specific strategies and tools into your teaching techniques.

Marzano’s Six-Step Model is summarized in six words: 1) Description, 2) Restate, 3) Drawing, 4) Activities, 5) Discussion, and 6) Games. Use the first three steps to introduce new words to students. The next three steps give students multiple exposures of the new word for review and retention.

Next, let’s look at the process of Tier 2 Word selection in action once again. Click File:Tier 2 selection example.pdf for the sample reading, Freedom Walkers. The planning template example (image on right, click for full size) connects the selection criteria to Marzano’s teaching strategies. Steps 3 and 4 in the planning template refer to the Frayer Model graphic organizer, which uses examples and non-examples to reinforce understanding (image on left, click for full size) and is generally used in Steps 1-3 of the Six-Step Model.

The Frayer Model organizer example on the left indicates that the student is associating the word contrast across disciplines. This is exactly what is needed!

The Visual Thesaurus provides another great example of a template for teaching a word using the Six-Step Model.

See the Graphic Organizers and Templates section below for materials to use with your students.

Examples of Direct Vocabulary Instruction Lessons

In this section, we will review examples of direct vocabulary lessons via videos and written lesson plans. As you can see in the image on the right, the suggested timing for Marzano’s Six-Steps for teaching a word is 15-20 minutes total. Of course, this can vary but it is a good starting point.

These are some authentic examples of the strategy in the classroom:

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Max Brand uses word walls to support vocabulary development in this video’’.

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April Kelley demonstrates explicit instruction of the word "involved" in this video.

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April Kelley demonstrates explicit instruction of the word "violent" in this video.

These are some example lesson plans from experts in the field:

Bluearrowbullet.gif The Berkeley Unified School District provides an effective model lesson plan with suggestions for articulation, guided practice, and collaborative practice. Click File:BUSD Sample Academic Vocabulary Lesson Plan.pdf.

Bluearrowbullet.gif Accomplished educator Rosa Clara Salazar provides a methodical lesson plan for integrating the Six-Step process into a geography lesson. Click for File:Salazar Vocabulary Lesson Plan.pdf.

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is a lesson plan template which includes pre and post assessment of vocabulary knowledge. Click File:Academic Vocabulary lesson plan template.pdf.

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is a Six-Step organizer with instructional supports. Click File:6-step organizer extensions.supports.pdf.

Graphic Organizers and Templates

Visual representations are pivotal to the successful implementation of direct vocabulary instruction. Graphic organizers provide a means for text and graphics to come together to further learning. As seen in the beginning of UNIT 3, the Frayer Model graphic organizer is often used as a template for students to record their word learning. Many instructors encourage students to compile all of their work in one place, such as a Vocabulary Notebook or Vocabulary Journal (see image on right). This allows students to build a personal knowledge base for reflection.

There are a wide variety of graphic organizers and you can choose to use whichever fits the instructional needs best. These are some examples and templates to get you started:

Bluearrowbullet.gif This one requires students to use context clues and other information to formulate a personal meaning for a word. Click File:WordDetectiveGO.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif The Frayer Model organizer asks students to provide a definition of the word, Facts or Characteristics of the word, examples, and non-examples. This leads students to a deeper understanding of a word and its relationship to their own lives. Click File:BlankFrayerModel.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif Similar to the Frayer’s organizer but uses a definition, synonyms, antonyms, and a picture for a given vocabulary word or concept. Click File:Word+Map.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif This document recaps the Six-Step process and includes several organizers and templates for instructional use. Click File:Six Step Process.pdf

Finally, these are some additional templates:

Bluearrowbullet.gif These two self-assessment templates get students thinking about what it means to know the meaning of a word. They also allow instructors to access prior knowledge. Click File:Vocabulary Student Selfassessment.pdf and File:VOCABULARYSELF.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is a template for a Vocabulary Journal. Click File:Word+Journal.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is a template for accessing word meaning via context. Click File:Context Clue Vocabulary Exercise blank.pdf


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Are you ready? It’s time to meet the challenge of including direct instruction of critical academic vocabulary in your lesson plans. We have covered a lot of examples and information regarding how to make this happen. Your final project requires you to create or adapt a lesson plan for your specific content area which does the following:

  • Selects at least three Tier 2 general academic terms from the lesson's instructional text.
  • Provides direct instruction of the terms using Marzano’s Six-Step Model.
  • Implements at least one digital tool and one graphic organizer.

You can always go back and review the information in the mini-course and also access additional sources listed in the References and Resources Sections.

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is the template for Tier 2 word instructional planning used at the beginning of UNIT 3 and it should be helpful in formulating the rationale for the lesson. Click File:Tier 2 Words - Planning Template.pdf

Bluearrowbullet.gif This is the rubric for assessing your lesson plan. Click File:Rubric for Vocabulary Lesson Plan Development.pdf. Please submit your final lesson plan and self-assessment by posting in the Unit 3 Discussion section .

Arrowbullet.png Please click here to go back to UNIT 2.

Arrowbullet.png Please click here to go back to UNIT 1.

Arrowbullet.png Please click here to return to ETAP 623 Spring 2014 Home Page.

One More Thing...

On a final note, students need to discover that vocabulary and reading do not have to be quiet, boring activities. Here is a video of "The 12 Powerful Words" set to the tune of Pharrell Williams’ Happy song. It is fun and infectious and will have kids learning these words before they know it.

Learning words can be fun!!

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References and Resources

Austin Independent School District. (n.d.) Building a bridge to academic vocabulary in mathematics. [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://curriculum.austinisd.org/math/elem/resources/general/M_el_res_acVocabBridge.pdf

Berkeley Unified School District, Office of Professional Development. (2013, May) BUSD grade level academic vocabulary. [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://www.berkeleyschools.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BUSD_Academic_Vocabulary.pdf

Colorado Springs School District 11. (n.d.). Six-Step academic vocabulary instruction. Retrieved from http://www.d11.org/Instruction/Literacy.LanguageArts/Pages/Six-Step-Academic-Vocabulary-Instruction.aspx

Feldman, K., & Kinsella, K. (2005). Narrowing the language gap: The case for explicit vocabulary instruction. New York: Scholastic. Retrieved from http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/authors/pdfs/narrowing_the_gap.pdf

Kelley, J. G., Lesaux, N. K., Kieffer, M. J., & Faller, S. E. (2010). Effective academic vocabulary instruction in the urban middle school. The Reading Teacher, 64, 5–14. Retrieved from http://voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/187283f0-56e7-11df-86f8-001cc4c03286.pdf.pdf

Larson, L., Dixon, T., & Townsend, D. (2013). How can teachers increase classroom use of academic vocabulary?. Voices from the Middle, 20(4), 16-21. Retrieved from http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/VM/0204-may2013/VM0204How.pdf

Marzano, R. J., & Pickering, D. J. (2005). Building academic vocabulary: Teacher's manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency. (n.d.). Marzano’s Six Step process. [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://www.ncresa.org/docs/PLC_Secondary/Six_Step_Process.pdf

Oklahoma Department of Edcuation. (n.d.) Building academic vocabulary. Retrieved from http://ok.gov/sde/building-academic-vocabulary#Links

Oregon Department of Education. (2011, November 7). Session 4: Academic vocabulary, 6-12 ELA & content teachers. Common Core State Standards - ELA & Literacy Module 1. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3454

Oxnevad, S. (2011, July 10). Cool Tools for Teaching Vocabulary. [Web log comments]. Retrieved from http://d97cooltools.blogspot.com/2011/07/cool-tools-for-teaching-vocabulary.html#.U1--aldOAXg

Rhode Island Department of Education (2012, June). Focusing on general academic vocabulary to enhance understanding of complex texts. [PDF file]. Retrieved from http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Common-Core/Academic-Vocabulary-PowerPoint.pdf

Salazar, R.C. (2010) Vocabulary lesson, China: The place and the peoples. U.S Pedagogy Lessons. Fullbright-Hays Group Project Abroad, Texas A&M University. Retrieved from http://worldroom.tamu.edu/FullBright/china.htm

Tyson, K. (2013, May 26) No tears for tiers: Common core tiered vocabulary made simple. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.learningunlimitedllc.com/2013/05/tiered-vocabulary/

West Virginia Department of Education (n.d.) Vocabulary development. Retrieved from http://wvde.state.wv.us/strategybank/vocabulary.html