|Heart Map - Click here to view photo gallery.|
|Sketching to Understand - Click here to view photo gallery.|
One of the ways that students are learning new vocabulary is through their reading. The Outsiders provided a wide array of terms for students to add to their repertoire. As I am sure you can imagine, how vocabulary is taught should be systematic and based on solid research. The Marzano method of instruction is both powerful and intuitive and has a lasting effect on student comprehension. I have adapted this method for my classroom and have found it to be quite successful in increasing student vocabulary. I begin by providing a description, explanation, or example of the new term. Part of this involves asking students what they already know about the term in order to help build an initial understanding. Once I have introduced the term, I ask students to restate its description using their own words. I often ask, "What does it mean to you?" As students are creating their own descriptions, I circulate throughout the room to check for misunderstandings and misconceptions. This is also a great time for students to share their new descriptions with a partner or in small groups. Next, students need to draw a symbol, picture, or graphic to represent the term. This is a very important step in the process, as it requires them to process information in a nonlinguistic manner. As you can see in the photo above, students are encouraged to share and explain their sketches with the class. In addition to the sketch, I also ask them to come up with an example of the term. It is my hope that they can make a connection to the term through something that they have seen or experienced. Finally, students are also encouraged to begin to think of ways in which the newly acquired term can enter their written and verbal communication. I love to hear the terms used in our discussion or even find the terms used in their own writing!