Vocabulary has always been an important part of learning in the content areas; the Common Core Standards address it in
Language in Vocabulary and Acquisition Use
4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Students are not all the same. They have different learning styles, readiness levels, and interests. Meeting the needs of all our students is a difficult task. But we know that students are motivated when teaching and the subject matter are interesting, engaging, and challenging.
Rather than requiring students to take part in a traditional spelling program with the whole class, or in addition to the program, offer these vocabulary lessons. They can be used with a class of gifted learners or with other 3rd – 5th+ students, differentiating instruction in the regular classroom. Teachers in the upper elementary grades will find it appropriate to use with the whole class as part of the overall language arts program.
In each of the 25 lessons, the focus is on a single Greek or Latin root—auto, geo, logy, meter, etc. Each lesson introduces a root with examples and a brief practice activity. The following pages provide practice and an extension activity, often bringing in additional related roots. A key component of each lesson is creativity. Students are often asked to create their own words using the root they have just learned, and sometimes a design or drawing activity is incorporated.