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Four Dimensions of a Comprehensive Vocabulary Program
(adapted from the works of Kate Kinsella)
Wide Reading: vocabulary grows as a consequence of independent reading and increasing reading volume Direct Teaching of Individual Words: students learn new words via various teacher-directed instructional strategies
Teaching Word Learning Strategies: students independently learn word meanings when taught the tools to exploit context, analyze prefixes, and various other word learning strategies Fostering Word Consciousness: vocabulary develops when students are engaged in various activities to increase language play, word choice in writing, and sensitovoty to word parts.

Download: Vocabulary Packet (Kate Kinsella materials) <coming soon>

Academic Word List (Kate Kinsella materials):

August 23-October 7

Unit 1: word list 1

April 24-June 4

Unit 6: word list 6

October 10-November 18

Unit 2: word list 2


Unit 7: word list 7

November 21-January 6

Unit 3: word list 3


Unit 8: word list 8

January 18-March 3

Unit 4: word list 4


Unit 9: word list 9

March 6-April 14

Unit 5: word list 5


Unit 10: word list 10


Vocabulary Plan

We have agreed to use the Academic Word List for the vocabulary in the CAHSEE classes. This does not mean we should not teach other words connected with the texts we read. The AWL is a well-regarded list of words that appear most widely across the content areas in schools and colleges. They are words students will need to know to navigate school and their textbooks.

1. Introduce 10 (or so) vocabulary words at the beginning of each week

  • Use the academic word list for the vocab. (word list 8 for the persusasive unit)
  • Each week introduce 10 more words
  • Have a vocab test at the end of each week
  • Have as a goal that students can use the words in a sentence that shows they know the word meaning

2. There are a variety of strategies for vocabulary building. Include in the vocabulary section of this unit are a few suggestions:

  • The Frayer Model
  • Word Maps
  • Kinsella’s plan for familiarity

Other suggestions:

  • Use pix/media/internet visuals to get across a vocab. Word (or have students do this)
  • To help students remember words, they can create flash cards with the word, on the back they can put its definition, synonyms and antonyms, and some sort of picture or “tip” to help them remember the definition
  • Play games so students become accustomed to the word


Download Vocabulary Plan as a handout

Continue to: Vocabulary in Context

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