#nzla16 Practical Ideas to embed vocabulary learning

(p refer to Oral Language book)




Top Score Activity

Scrabble type (p76)

Cool, competitive activity - my boys might enjoy this


1 Mio words in English, average adults knows 20 - 35,000

2-3,000/ year learnt by students

Ss needs 12 educational encounters to learn a new word

Teachers explicitly teach about 400 words / year

Comprehensive Vocab programme

Chapter 3 (p50fff)

Practical ideas:

Adopt a word (instead of word of the week):

  • Subject specific vocab
  • Tier two words (PM48)

Diorama, presentation, class word wall, word jar (poster and / or jar), play vocab charades, design a house for your word, take your word home as fridge word, words in a word

Links to suitable sites via QR Code on Book

Make a word picture Word as image by Ji Lee

  • Teacher judgement regarding what words suitable for your students
  • Children to learn about other kids’ words

Watch it first, not all suitable in video (google kinetic typography inspired)

Could be cool especially for I (to actually understand what a word means that he is using)

Word Learning Strategies

  1. Morphology - Looking at word parts
  • Affixes and prefixes. Base words and root words (difference!)
  1. Consulting a reference (dictionary use not always really helpful).
  2. Using the context
  • List
  • Cause and effects
  • Synonyms
  • Comparisons and contrasts

How many words can you make from this base word / root word?

In Reading Comprehension Books

Stop the bus activity

Word Learning

Three tiers of words (p57)

How to introduce a word? 5 steps (p57)

Planned & incidental word teaching


  • In reading
  • Word bank - different words that mean ‘said’ or sim.
  • Ss helping Ss

Children asking what words mean really important - they are checking for meaning


  • Guided reading
  • Ss to ID tricky words as they read
  • Dogonews.com - all done for you (links with prediction)
  • Wonderopolis, definitions and activities
  • 4 words - what I think, what someone else thinks
  • Get a particular word into your writing
  • Word sorts (could be Ss created) on paper or online e.g. Padlet
  • Brainstorm words before reading, then sort them after
  • Sorting activities are really beneficial in general, esp. with little kids; let children explain to you why / how they have sorted this
  • More talking in reading time, to develop vocab: Retell, make story etc.

Y6+, rather high reading level

Middle primary

Need to use this more for independent activities...

Independent Reading (to learn words)

Needs to be suitable text (at their level or slightly higher)