Adding Vocabulary to your ELA Block

Hello darlings! Do you teach vocabulary to your students?  I think this is one thing we are missing in the upper grades and we are doing a disservice to our students.  As they move up levels in reading, the thing that I notice that holds my students back the most is the challenging vocabulary they encounter.  This of course affects their comprehension.

I decided I had to squeeze vocabulary into my daily ELA Block.  I have Reading and Writing Workshop each for an hour and I have a half hour for Word Study.  I take that work study piece and break it up into three rotations- Spelling (word Study)- Vocabulary- Grammar.

My activities for each rotation are very repetitive for a reason.  It becomes a routine that students come to expect which allows them to get right to work and not waste any of the 10 minutes.  It is very structured so students could basically run the stations themselves.  This is how I am able to pull small groups during ELA Rotations to help kiddos who are struggling in other subjects. 

This is an example of my rotation board.  I currently only do three rotations.  You can grab an editable version here.

Here is a rundown of my weekly schedule...

Monday-No Rotations-Everything is Whole Group

Word Study:  Take pretest to determine differentiated spelling list.  Go over the word family for the week.  Students highlight in different colors the parts of the word family in each word.

Vocabulary: Introduce five new vocabulary words.  Discuss parts of speech and use hand gestures and chants to show if it is a noun, verb, or adjective.  Work together to put each word in a detailed sentence.

Grammar: none

Tuesday- Rotations- 10 Minutes each

Word Study: Usually this is just practicing the word families with our Word Study Choice Board.

Vocabulary: Create a picture dictionary for each word.  Students draw a picture to represent each word and create a sentence to describe it. They do this in their spiral notebooks.

Grammar: This usually consists of a worksheet, center, or online game involving the weekly objective.

Wednesday- Rotations- 10 Minutes each

Word Study: Choice Board

Vocabulary: Dice Game- 
students roll a die and complete the task for that number.

Grammar: Worksheet, Center, or Online Game

Thursday- Rotations- 10 Minutes each

Word Study: Choice Board or Quiz a partner

Vocabulary: Sentence Construction Competition

Grammar: Worksheet, Center, or Online Game

Friday- Assessment Day

Word Study: Test

Vocabulary: Test- students write each word in a detailed
sentence using context clues.

Grammar: none


The following are links to the resources I use for ELA.

I hope this gave you some helpful tips and ideas!

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