Instructional Strategies

  • Use the Frayer Model to teach new vocabulary.
  • Use the following sequence: provide a brief explanation/description of the word, give students a nonlinguistic representation of the word, have students generate their own explanation/description, have students generate their own nonlinguistic representations, have students review the accuracy of their explanations.
  • Utilize concept mapping for content vocabulary.
  • Teach cognates.
  • Teach students root words, as well as prefixes and suffixes.
  • Use and teach synonyms and antonyms. Introduce new words as synonyms or antonyms of known words.
  • Use and teach semantic mapping to make connections between words.
  • Teach new vocabulary words and concepts prior to reading.
  • Teach students to use the dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Teach the student to read for the main point of the text.
  • Identify and teach words critical to new content.
  • Associate new vocabulary with a visual.
  • Ask open-ended questions and encourage use of specific vocabulary in response.
  • Provide multiple exposures to words (at least 6) using examples and non-examples.
  • Teach students to identify difficult words (clunks) and use “fix-up” strategies to repair understanding, such as word-level skills and context clues.


  • Provide students with word banks.
  • Have the student keep a vocabulary notebook to keep track of words he/she encounters and does not know.
  • Provide time for the student to re-read material.
  • Select low-density text when there is a lot of new vocabulary.
  • Create personalized word lists for students according to the tiers of vocabulary (every-day vocabulary, academic vocabulary, content vocabulary)

Additional Resources

Focus Area/Sample SMART Goal/Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan:

Focus Area

Sample SMART Goal

Sample Tier 2 Intervention Plan

Vocabulary: Word Knowledge

Student will improve general vocabulary knowledge from 22% to 90% on a word list assessment by June 2020.

Teach the student the 20 most common prefixes (account for 97% of words with prefixes) and their meanings. 

Vocabulary: Content specific

Student will use a variety of strategies  (e.g., context clues, word study, morphology) to identify the meanings of unknown words in provided texts from 56% accuracy to 80% accuracy as measured by teacher questioning by January 2020.

Use the Vocabulary Strategy and Worksheet to teach the student how to use various strategies to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. Reference the Types of Context Clues.

Using Context Clues Student will improve the use of context clues to determine the gist of the meaning of a word from 60% to 80% as measured by work samples by March 2020.

Teach students to use Types of Context Clues.

Teach students to use highlighting strategies.

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