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Lesson Plan

My World of Words: Building Vocabulary Lists

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Three 45-minute sessions, with additional time for class discussion of word choices

International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



This lesson affords students the opportunity to select personalized vocabulary words based on their interests and facets of their daily lives. Through cooperative group discussion, students will generate their own vocabulary word lists and research the words' meanings. Each student will create a "My World of Words Journal" that will include definitions and proper usage information. Students will then participate in an interactive journal share to elicit feedback from their classmates.

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Ruddell, M.R., & Shearer, B.A. (2002). "Extraordinary," "tremendous," "exhilarating," "magnificent": Middle school at-risk students become avid word learners with the vocabulary self-collection strategy (VSS). Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45, 352363.

  • Students maintain a personalized involvement with language by selecting their own vocabulary words. This personal interest motivates vocabulary connections in other subject areas.

  • Data from this study shows student journal entries became more sophisticated. Their word knowledge and spelling for VSS words were notably increased.

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