Why is it so important to teach vocabulary in the lower grades?

Why is it so important to teach vocabulary in the lower grades?

Vocabulary instruction plays an important part in the learning process. Vocabulary is related to areas such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Children acquire listening and speaking vocabulary before they build reading and writing vocabulary. Each type of vocabulary has a different purpose, however; the development of one type of vocabulary helps the growth of another. They are interrelated. The more exposure students have to a word, the more likely it is that they will be able to define, comprehend, and remember it.

Good vocabulary instruction builds repetition into the learning process so that students can quickly acquire more words into their vocabulary bank. In doing this, they are able to communicate effectively and achieve academic success. Students learn words based on their experiences, not based on their age or grade level.  This is why we must give our students as much vocabulary exposure as we can to aid vocabulary development. Effective vocabulary instruction requires that we, as teachers, intentionally provide many opportunities for students to learn new words. Students need instructional opportunities to build their personal storage of words, and to develop deep levels of word knowledge. It may seem that teaching vocabulary is not the most exciting thing to do, in PK-3, students develop their vocabulary in a fun way.  We use the following practices in the classroom: pictures, keep it real, movements, drawings, and brainstorm of ideas.

Resources: Haynes, I & Davis, D. Interventions and Strategies for Grades K – 6 RTI Montgomery, J. The Bridge of Vocabulary: Evidence Based Activities for Academic Success (NCS Pearson Inc, 2007).

Ms. Terminel

PK3 Teacher