What is it? How does it work?
Students learn to locate, select, and learn words to add to their vocabulary knowledge.
These strategies build word awareness and vocabulary knowledge by requiring students to make a personal construction of meaning. Teachers may select the words for instructional purposes or students may select their own words. Three common generative vocabulary strategies are Possible Sentences (Moore & Moore, 1986), Keyword Strategy (Levin, Levin, Glasman, & Nordwall,1992), and Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy, or VSS (Haggard,1982).The procedures follow:
1. Teachers list and pronounce 6-8 new vocabulary words central to the major concepts to be learned that are adequately defined by context within the upcoming text. They also present several related terms from the text that students should already know.
2. Students, individually or in groups, use at least 2 words from the list to write "possible sentences" that they think may be in the text. It does not matter at this point if their sentences are incorrect.
3. Students read and find the targeted vocabulary to verify/correct their predictions.
4. Students evaluate their sentences for accuracy and amend them to reflect the meaning gained from the text.
5. Students generate new sentences using the targeted vocabulary and use the text to defend their choices.
This strategy builds on mnemonic devices and visual images to define new words.
1. Teachers review students on the meanings of new vocabulary words and ask them to create personal, visual images to help them remember the meaning.
2. Students create memorable images and discuss them with one another and with teachers.
3. Words and their images are recorded in a vocabulary notebook.
Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS)
1. Students reading a common text each select a word they consider important that should be shared with the class.
2. Teacher and students present the words, defining them from context. They may clarify and expand on definitions and a dictionary or thesaurus may be consulted for final clarification. Students also present reasons to support why they believe their word is important for understanding the text.
3. Once all words are explored, a final list is made of those the group considers to be the most important for understanding. Students record these words in vocabulary journals.
4. Follow-up activities ensure that words are learned.
- linguistic knowledge
- background knowledge
- self-regulated comprehending
All secondary readers
- general education class
- reading class
Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Readers:
Students are encouraged to bring to the classroom words from other cultural contexts. VSS has been effective with second language learners.
- modeling, guided practice, independent practice
- inductive, inquiry, or discovery learning
- cooperative learning
- culturally responsive teaching
(Note: The cost category was last updated in 2000, at the time of publication. Contact the publisher for specific current costs associated with using this item.)
Possible Sentences are described by Moore and Moore (1986). Keyword Strategy was reported by Levin, Levin, Glasman, and Nordwall (1992), VSS was developed by Martha Rapp Haggard (1982).