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Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary
Within the Mystery Genre
Today, I’m discussing vocabulary and comprehension. Many struggling readers need multiple exposure to vocabulary terms when you’re first introducing them. We want children to not only learn new words, but to apply them with greater utility. Having a rich vocabulary, as we all know, increases reading comprehension. So what strategies are the most meaningful and provide rich learning experiences? Teaching from a list of terms and definitions is certainly one way, but not necessarily the most effective, especially for the challenged reader. Children need to learn and practice how to TALK about these words in conversation with others, not just look at them on a worksheet or in a list. Multiple exposures to new vocabulary can include activities like the following:
Post vocabulary cards with terms with a picture prompt. Make sure students have copies.
Vocabulary terms used in sentences with plenty of context clues (This is a great fluency builder too.)
Matching terms with definitions while playing a game of Concentration
Drawing pictures and/or inserting captions of new vocabulary
Using a reciprocal teaching or peer coaching model where children are paired to practice new vocabulary together. (NOTE: I would NOT recommend pairing a low student with a high student for a peer coaching or reciprocal teaching model. This will present a level a frustration for both learners.)
Encourage open classroom discussion by posing thought-provoking questions to go along with new vocabulary words. These questions should elicit a child’s prior knowledge. For example: *When would you need to search for clues? *True or false: A detective is like a magician. Explain why. I love this strategy because you can really open up great classroom conversation and debate!
Use foldables- Here’s another one of my favorites. There’s something about a foldable that builds excitement and engagement. I especially love using them in an interactive notebook. I have tons of examples on my Pinterest
board called Foldables.
Try the Frayer Model
. This is a great way to get students thinking about examples and non-examples for new words, which will also lead to deeper comprehension and application.
Assess students’ prior knowledge using an anticipation guide that lists new vocabulary words. This is another way to open up the lines of communication among your students.
I’ve created a product that pairs vocabulary instruction with learning the story elements of the mystery genre. Using story grammar is essentially this product’s goal. When you’re introducing a new genre, there is a specific story structure, along with essential vocabulary that students need to aide their comprehension. The mystery genre is no exception. By using these vocabulary activities, you’ll find your students will have a deeper understanding of story structure. You’ll also find that I’ve used some of the strategies I listed above, along with a few new ones. The best part is that this mini-unit can be used with ANY mystery book in your collection! It’s recommended for grades 3-5, but possibly second grade too. You can access my unit by clicking the picture below. This product is only free during our blog hop October 25-27, 2013. It will be listed in my Teachers Pay Teachers store as a paid item later. If you have a minute to leave me a rating and or/feedback on this product, I’d really appreciate it.
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Now that you’ve learned a little about the vocabulary strategies for the mystery genre, you’re ready for my clue. On your note-taker form, you can record the letter…
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