Use this Word Study document to increase your students' understanding of difficult words.
Synonym/Related words: When students are able to relate unknown words to known words, their understanding increases. Ask the student to come up with words that have the same definition if applicable. Also discuss and write down words people may think of when they hear the vocabulary word.
Example: If the vocabulary word is "incredible", a synonym could be "great."
Opposite (aka antonym): Understanding opposites helps the student understand the word at a deeper level, as they are asked to make more connections to the word of focus.
Example: If the vocabulary word is "felicitous", an antonym could be "inappropriate."
Part of speech: Understanding parts of speech gives a student a better understanding of language and the function of a sentence or question.
Example: If the vocabulary word is "nimbly", explain that words ending in -ly are typically adverbs. Adverbs are words which describe a verb.
Suffix/prefix variations: We teach students to recognize words that share the same root word so they can increase their understanding of multiple words by learning one version of the root word.
Example: If the vocabulary word is "ability", some words that share the same root word are "able" and "unable."
Example: Providing an example will further solidify the word's meaning in a student's brain.
Example of Example (hehe): If the vocabulary word is "steady," an example may be "wooden table."
Write a sentence: Asking the students to write sentences containing the target vocabulary word further strengthens their understanding of the new word and can be used to assess other language goals, such as extended discourse. For high-achieving students, encourage them to incorporate multiple vocabulary words into a single sentence!
Example: If the vocabulary word is "tedious," an example may be "Homework is tedious."
*Adapted from Kate Matley's Word Study document created after attending the Language Therapy Advance course by Dr. Karen Dudek-Brannan.
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