Intended Age/Grade: Vocabulary Cluster is a great activity to use for all grade levels. For my particular activity, I geared it towards 5th grade.
Purpose: With the Vocabulary Cluster strategy, students read a passage, gather context clues, and then predict the meaning of a new word targeted for learning.
Vocabulary Cluster is a helpful activity for students who struggle with reading to use the context of a passage to distinguish the missing word. It was interesting to note that English language learners (ELL) and students who have language deficiencies are two large groups of students who benefit from direction instruction. This activity is great for students to expand their vocabulary and discover other meanings for the same word. If the word is not already in students’ listening vocabulary, using the context and synonyms in a vocabulary cluster helps provide an introduction to new words.
1) For the Vocabulary Cluster activity, select vocabulary words to teach from a text the students are currently reading/will be reading. (Examples: Poem, song, fiction or nonfiction textbook, etc.)
2) Pass out an excerpt from the text to each student.
3) The target word should be deleted and replaced with a blank line; similar to a cloze passage.
4) As a class, read over the passage. Through discussion, lead the students into predicting what the unknown word may be.
5) Inside the center circle is the missing word. The circles, boxes branching off are different meanings of the term.
6) Once the students have discovered the correct word missing, reread the text together as a class.