Vocabulary Instruction

A few weeks ago I had a question from a reader (Hey, Lana!) about my vocabulary instruction.  I am interested in how others use a vocabulary program or if you do at all.  So, I thought I'd do a post about our Vocabulary instruction.  A few years ago our school purchased Steck Vaughn's Elements of Reading Vocabulary Series. I've searched all over the Internet for a picture of it and can't find one anywhere.  Here is one that is similar and looks to be more geared to younger elementary.  The one we have for 4th grade is Level D.  

With our series, we get a teacher's guide, R.E.V. It Up books (they have short stories/passages/poems using the vocabulary words), a Read Aloud Anthology book (longer stories with the words), Writer's Logs (workbooks for students), picture cards with the words, a sentence, synonyms, and antonyms on the back, and cards with the words on them (I use for them for our word wall).  Here is what our vocabulary instruction looks like:

Monday:  Read the story for that week and introduce new words using picture cards.  

Tuesday:  Display all the words on the board and give each group 1-2 cards face up (with only the picture showing) and they have to figure out which word their picture card represents

Wednesday:  Review all words

Thursday:  Share sentences from Writer's Log homework

Friday:  Test on weekly words (there are a total of 8 per week)

Now, with our new Reading series, Literacy by Design, we also have vocabulary words in there.  We all debated at the beginning of the year.  Do we only use the words in LBD?  Do you use both our regular vocabulary and LBD?  Can we only use our regular vocabulary series?  But, these words are tested on our Literacy by Design tests so we have to cover them.  So far, it's going good.  Last week I let groups each select a word, write the definition, write a sentence using the word, and draw a picture.  These are all from our Reading series.  

How do you teach Vocabulary?


  1. My school also used this program a few years ago as a pilot program! I LOVED it! The pictures and acting them out was what made it stick with the kids I think. The only issue I ran into is time... of course! Our writing block is dictated my the district and they don't allow us to use that much time for vocab!

  2. I use the same program with my 4th graders. Sometimes I will post the quick review questions (they are in the TE and are a question that includes one voc word) as morning work. It is a great way to get the kids thinking about the word in a different way.

    Teaching Star Students

  3. Hi! Do you still teach with the Rev It Up? I have been looking everywhere for the concept cards...No one has them. If you get a chance, would you be able to email on my personal email....I have some questions I would love to talk to you about. nicolefailla@gmail.com -- Thanks!

  4. I used this and our county got rid of it, I want it back so bad. It was a brilliant program, can one purchase it outright?

    1. You can search online and find the pieces to the program, however, I am having the hardest time locating the picture cards. I have been making them on my own and it has been hard.


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