Power up middle school students' vocabulary with words that have the most potential to improve learning, reading comprehension, and communication. This resource combines robust vocabulary instruction with topics sure to spark student interest.
- Master critical, high-frequency vocabulary
- Increase the richness and preciseness of language expression
- Improve reading comprehension
Robust vocabulary instruction focuses on the high-frequency words that apply to a variety of subject areas. These Tier 2 words (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002):
- have rich meaning and connections to other words and concepts
- are used by mature language users
- add specificity and flexibility to students' expression
- easily link to other words students already know
Two decades of research have shown this instruction method is most effective in advancing students' vocabulary growth (Moore, 2011).
The book has 16 substantive, 7-page lessons. Each lesson teaches ten carefully-chosen vocabulary words. The vocabulary words are repeated in subsequent lessons. The lessons have a consistent pattern of reading, thinking, and writing activities. The activities progress from comprehension to expressive tasks and follow this sequence:
- introduction of new words and teaching tips
- questions to activate prior knowledge
- one or more reading passages
- word definitions with examples
- associations activity
- thinking activities like: Finish the Thought, Yes/No Questions, In Your Own Words, Antonyms & Synonyms, and more
The age-appropriate lesson topics such as The Movies' Mystery Man, Money Matters, and Arguments and Persuasion are mostly curricular. The chapters progress in difficulty regarding general knowledge, readability, and word knowledge.
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- Vocabulary knowledge is strongly correlated to reading comprehension proficiency and school achievement. Children who start school with poorly developed vocabulary skills will, without robust instruction, remain academically behind their peers (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
- Elaboration techniques for teaching vocabulary skills, such as in-depth teaching of words, making connections to background knowledge, and using words in appropriate/inappropriate contexts, improves vocabulary knowledge for students with learning differences (Ellis, 2002).
- Repeated exposure to vocabulary in a variety of contexts, learning in rich contexts, active engagement in learning tasks, and teaching vocabulary directly and indirectly are methods that improve learning (NRP, 2000).
- Direct instruction that consists of learning individual words and word-learning strategies is effective for building vocabulary (NIFL, 2001).
Word Feast Middle School incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Ellis, E.S. (2002). The clarifying routine: Elaborating vocabulary instruction. Retrieved from http://www.ldonline.org/article/5759
Moore, D.W. (2011). Robust Vocabulary Instruction. Retrieved from http://www.ngsp.net/Portals/0/Downloads/HBNETDownloads/SEB21_0410A.pdf
National Institute for Literacy (NIFL). (2001). Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/PRFbooklet.pdf
National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction—Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved from www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/upload/smallbook_pdf.pdf