Vocabulary Learning and Instruction in the Pre-K Classroom

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Return to: ETAP 623 Fall 2019 (Zhang) | Michelle DeLace


Overview and Purpose

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"The highest rate of vocabulary development occurs during the preschool years; therefore, it represents a crucial time when we can intervene" (Neuman & Wright, 2014, p.4). It is estimated that children in the early school years should add at least 2,000 new words to their vocabulary each year. This is a tall order as a Pre-K teacher, and the question remains: How is this done and what does it look like in a pre-k classroom setting?

This mini-course will help assist you with planning vocabulary instruction for a unit topic of your choice. Overall, this is is a step-by-step tutorial on how to assess, monitor, and apply vocabulary instruction within a pre-k classroom based upon New York State's units.

Course Units & Objectives

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Choosing, Dissecting and Assessing Vocabulary for your Pre-K Unit

Participants will choose a unit from the Pre-K curriculum and will be shown a way to assess their learners. Participants will identify standard based objectives for Pre-K vocabulary instruction.

Unit 2: Creating Effective Learning Environments for Vocabulary Instruction in Pre-K

Participants will learn about effective strategies to teach vocabulary and will create lessons based upon the unit they chose. Participants will execute lessons within the classroom.

Unit 3: Reflecting Upon Vocabulary Instruction in the Pre-K Classroom

Participants will perform a post-assessment with their learners and will analyze the results. Participants will reflect on their teaching as well as the students performance.

Extended Resources

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Mayer, Richard E. (2007). Learning and Instruction, Second edition. Merrill Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780131707719.