Vocabulary Is Comprehension: Getting to the Root of Text Complexity
Here is a reading riddle: What knowledge always precedes high-level text comprehension and yet seldom is given sufficient instructional time?
The answer: Word knowledge.
Our students can’t understand texts without knowing what words mean. It’s that simple. Meanwhile, in our rush toward complex texts, somehow we forget to put a new systematic vocabulary plan in place. In Vocabulary Is Comprehension, Laura Robb provides the instructional plan. And just wait until you see the results!
Laura’s plan takes just 10 to 15 minutes, and much of it is spent in partner and independent work so this is no “add on” to squeeze in. Even better, all materials are included. Each lesson features a student reproducible along with 50+ pieces of short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—or, if you prefer, use your own text.
Here’s how the plan works:
- Day 1: You read aloud the short text and students discuss the selected words in their context. Students work in pairs, rereading the text to understand words and phrases, and then share understandings as a class.
- Days 2 & 3: Students finish partner work and complete the reproducible.
Along the way, the 35+ lessons:
- Support complex text comprehension
- Cover academic vocabulary, synonyms, antonyms, multiple meanings, figurative language, denotative and connotative meanings, Greek and Latin roots, and more
- Address specific CCSS vocabulary and writing standards
Include strategies for ELLs and developing readers, and formative assessments
- Link to a wealth of online reproducibles, words lists, and printable complex texts
Laura surrounds these ready-to-teach lessons with the routines that help students read increasingly demanding texts across the curriculum. Students blog, tweet, and apply words in many different contexts . . . look out for related words in books, ads, and media . . . and many other collaborative activities that promote deep word knowledge rather than shallow word-defining. If you’re looking for a resource that will make all the difference as you address the new reach for rigorous, complex text reading, Vocabulary Is Comprehension is it.
An author, teacher, coach, and speaker, LAURA ROBB has spent the last four decades in middle school education. What teachers appreciate most about Laura is her deep commitment to children and adolescents, and her ability to show what best-practice instruction looks like day by day; a survey conducted by Instructor magazine named Laura as one of the nation’s top twenty educators. Currently, in addition to her speaking and consulting, she works part time in grades K-8.