“Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers (nonfiction) is rich in vocabulary, and many words are surrounded by strong context clues. This high-interest book is an excellent choice to help students increase their vocabulary. I have used this set of materials in a pre-college summer bridge program and in a vocabulary development course for underprepared first-year students at my university. These materials are also suitable for high school students. This comprehensive package for teaching vocabulary includes 12 items:
(1) A 25-page list of 343 words from “Zeitoun,” listed in the order in which they appear. The word list included page numbers as well as space for students to write definitions.
(2) A 50-question pre-assessment to determine how many words students know before you teach the unit. This instrument can also be used as a post-assessment so students can track their progress. All questions are multiple choice; students must select the definition for each word. An answer key is included.
(3) A review of prefixes, roots, and suffixes, with examples from the word list, to help students develop word-attack skills.
(4) A list of common noun, verb, and adjective endings, with examples from the word list, to help students recognize part of speech patterns and understand how to use words in sentence.
(5) Three vocabulary tests, including an answer key for each test. Test #1, on words from pp. 1-116 contains 40 questions. Test #2, on words from pp. 117-182 has 33 questions. Test #3, on words from pp. 182-325 has 33 questions. Many questions are easier for students who are current with their reading, thus creating an incentive to read.
(6) Five pre-test activities that provide practice with the words. I use these activities before each test, to help students determine how well they knew the words. The activities, which are well-suited to small-group collaboration, can be used as in-class activities or can be given as homework. They could also be used for later review.