Teaching vocabulary to students with special needs can be challenging. But we must always remember to keep challenging our students- we don’t want them to work on picture to picture matching for 12 years- vocabulary is a great way to take the skill to the next level. Here’s how I teach it.
Simple Comprehension is one of my favorite ways to target so many ELA skills in one unit each week- including vocabulary. Below is July Simple Comprehension.
There are 2 levels of vocabulary included in simple comprehension, picture and word and picture, word, and definition.
To target vocabulary. I introduce the definition to the whole group on Monday. Then we break into centers to work on simple comprehension.
At the vocabulary center, students work at their level. This may mean picture word matching, identical picture matching (print two copies), or word and definition work. For higher level students, I would have them write the definition on a dry erase board, and draw a picture of the word- kids sure do love dry erase boards.
After the introduction day, we can work on the vocabulary during independent work. There are two levels of clip cards to work on the skill. Word picture matching and definition word matching.
If students are showing more and more success throughout the week- remember to keep challenging them, move them up a level or make the skill more difficult.
Finally, on Friday we give a quiz. This helps get an ELA grade (or vocabulary grade if you do that) for the quarter. Students use what they have learned that week to take the quiz at their level. There are 3 levels of quizzes. Matching word to picture and word, matching word to picture, and matching definition to word and picture. Remember to challenge your students with their quiz too!
Teaching vocabulary that connects with a text is so much more powerful than teaching it in isolation. All of the simple comprehension stories relate to things happening in students lives that month. The text is relatable and the words are relatable!
Want to learn more about how to teach every aspect of simple comprehension?
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