Help:How to add vocabulary

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To introduce vocabulary words, FreeReading uses a combination of:

  • The method outlined in Bringing Words to Life by Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan (Guildford Press, 2002), and
  • The Frayer Model as described in A Schema for Testing the Level of Cognitive Mastery by Frayer, D., Frederick, W. C., and Klausmeier, H. J. (Wisconsin Research and Development Center, 1969)

Selected words should be what Beck et al. call Tier Two words, words that are not so simple most children will learn them without explicit instruction (such as like or bus), but not highly specific to a domain (such as isotope).

Present each word as follows:

  1. Explain the context in which the word appears in the text.
  2. Define the word using a student-friendly definition (which is rarely the same as a dictionary definition).
  3. Ask students to say the word.
  4. Explain the key characteristics of the word by giving examples.
  5. Ask students to discriminate between examples and non-examples by saying the word only when they hear an example.

Here is an example for the word morsel as used in Doctor DeSoto by William Steig:

  • In the story, it says the fox thought Doctor DeSoto was a tasty morsel.
  • Morsel means a tiny piece of food. What's the word?
  • The fox thought of Doctor DeSoto as a morsel of food because in comparison to a fox, a mouse is very small.
  • I'm going to name some food; if the item I name is a very small piece of food, say morsel. If it isn't a morsel, keep quiet. Ready?
    • A peanut
    • A whole pie
    • A crumb of cake
    • One Cheerio
    • A turkey dinner