Do you struggle with the same dilemma as I do? I'm talking about choosing which academic words to teach! Well, researchers agree that vocabulary instruction should include TIER 2 words to get the most impact on speaking and writing across all settings (and across the curriculum).
Tier 1 vocabulary includes foundational language and common, basic words. Tier 1 words are mostly concrete and rarely have multiple meanings. Most children learn these words easily. Tier 3 are low frequency words that are very specific to a subject. These include all that content specific vocabulary (for science, math, ELA, history, etc.). While teaching Tier 3 words are worthwhile in a class such as biology or civics, it's the TIER 2 words that are most useful to students. Tier 2 words are academic words that students will see throughout their schooling all across content areas. Teach those to get the most bang for your buck!
Tier 2 words are:
- words students will encounter in all subjects, on tests, and in rich conversations words that important for comprehension
- words that may have multiple meanings
- words that help students sound like mature language users when writing and speaking
- words that appear across content areas
After much research, I've compiled lists of words most widely accepted as crucial Tier 2 words and arranged them according to grade level from K through 12th grade. I hope you find these useful.
Grab the lists for grades 2 and 3 HERE for free!
To learn HOW and WHY we should teach these - as well as methods of research proven, effective methods for teaching vocabulary, check out my blog series all about vocabulary!
and keep checking back for more posts in the series.
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