Reading naturally lends itself to building vocabulary by introducing new words. I still find myself adding to my own vocabulary through the different stories, articles, novels, etc. that I read. If I come across a word that I’m not familiar with, I’ll circle it and look it up. However, I have found this is not everyone’s reaction to a new word… In my experience, if students don’t know a word, they will just keep going and ignore it or if there are too many words they don’t know, they’ll become discouraged and not want to continue reading at all. In comes the book’s vocabulary list.
I use the vocabulary list as a pre-lesson or pre-teaching to the class or literature circle novel. Students are provided the list and in partners or groups, they find definitions for the words using computers. This takes one or two class periods [NOTE: I was in a one-to-one Chromebook classroom, so this may vary.] Then as students read the text, they are able to refer back to the list and note the page number of the vocabulary word. This makes the vocabulary a part of their reading without it becoming a primary focus.
This download includes the vocabulary list for The Outsiders, which I taught as a class book for seventh grade. It is divided into chapters (12 sections).