Arkansas State Personnel Development Grant

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Suite #450
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 319-7333
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9-12 Vocabulary Instruction

Day 5 of a Five-Day Plan



Essential Element Vocabulary Instruction


Framework Strand: Reading

Standard 11: Vocabulary, Word Study, and Fluency

Students shall acquire and apply skills in vocabulary development

and word analysis to be able to read fluently.


Grade 9: R.11.9.1 (reading) .2 (roots, pre/suffix) .3 (references)

Grade 10: R.11.10.1 (reading) 2.(Greek/Latin roots pre/suffix) 3.(references)

Grade 11: R.11.11.1 (specialized vocabulary) 2.(roots, word parts

3. (references)

Grade 12: R.11.12.1 (specialized vocabulary) 2.(Greek, Latin,Anglo-Saxon)

3. (references)



The relationship between word knowledge and reading comprehension is well established and has been clearly stated for years. As early as the 1940s, research has noted that the connection between word knowledge and comprehension is undisputed. Yet typical classroom practice in helping students develop vocabulary skills has not always met with great success. Often teachers have relied on a programmed vocabulary book or a weekly list of words with the accompanying admonition to “look it up in the dictionary.”


More effective instruction, however, includes integration, repetition, and meaningful use. Moreover, this kind of explicit instruction involves planning, flexibility, and variety so that students find the work not only challenging but interesting and perhaps fun as well. In addition to an increased amount of time for reading, students need opportunities to hear and use words in natural sentence contexts. They need to focus on words or concepts that have major impact on comprehension rather than “covering” many words superficially, and they need explicit instruction that leads them to become independent word learners.



  • Manageable word lists designed to have impact on reading comprehension (5 to 10 words per week recommended)

  • Copies of activities designed to provide integration, repetition, and meaningful use (helpful resources: Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Beck, McKeown and Lucan; Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12 by Janet Allen) Activities are designed to be used as mini-lessons requiring 10 to 15 minutes per day during the course of the instruction cycle.


Assessment (Day Five):

    1. Assess mastery of the new vocabulary words. One option for a quick and easy-to-score assessment could be the “Multiple-Choice Assessment” or “Fill in the Blanks”. Other options, such as “Creating Examples”, “Example vs. Non-example”, and “Context Interpretation” would require more writing and would assess deeper word knowledge.

    2. Unless students are well prepared to demonstrate how to integrate words into appropriate context, avoid assessing their knowledge of new vocabulary by having them compose sentences.


Day 5 - Context Interpretation + Worksheets


Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education. All rights reserved. School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only. No resale. Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for commercial use or profit. ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions.

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