“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” Evelyn Waugh
In the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)- Literacy there are six instructional shifts that are needed to effectively implement the CCSS. In this post I am going to focus on shift 6.
We can use web tools seamlessly with shift 6 to build academic vocabulary. It is important to remember even if we teach math, science, physical education; vocabulary is crucial in learning. The shift 6 – Academic Vocabulary tiers are:
Tier 1: Words we use every day such as chair.
Tier 2: Words that frequently appear across all domains and have shades of meaning such as relieved.
Tier 3: Words that have a specific domain such as photosynthesis- domain: science.
The web tools I highlight can be used in any subject and within each tier.
1. VisualThesaurus is a free mind mapping vocabulary tool that takes one vocabulary word and branches out related words visually. The students can see the different parts of speech and these are color coded. If the student spells a word wrong they offer suggestions helping the student learn the vocabulary. You can have students make their own individualized tier 2 and 3 vocabulary lists to help differentiate. You can also search for word lists, such as this general academic vocabulary.
2. Make Beliefs Comix is a free comic strip maker that allows you too create simple free comics strips. Having the students show master of a vocabulary makes the students critically think, create and communicate their knowledge. Giving them a vocabulary word such as ‘absurd’ and having them demonstrate though making a comic. You can assess mastery without a paper and pencil vocabulary test.
3. Sketch Odopod is a free web tool that you can have the students draw out their vocabulary knowledge. Having the students represent a non-linguistic approach. You don’t need to have an account unless you want to save the pictures. Here is one done on the elements of fiction and on the water cycle.
Ninjawords is a fast dictionary students told me about the other day….they love it because it gives them the definition fast. (It is an iPhone app as well)
Want to learn three more web tools for shift 6 you can use in your classroom check out this blog post, 3 Digital Tools For Common Core Academic Vocabulary by Susan Oxnevad
Please share other ways you are teaching shift 6 in your classroom so we can learn and grow together!