How can vocabulary be taught in kindergarten?

  • Build a word-rich environment.
  • Help students develop as independent word learners.
  • Select Tier 2 words.
    • Tier One Words- Consists of basic words and rarely require instructional attention in school. These words are frequent in life. Examples: clock, baby, ball, happy, walk, run,
    • Tier Two Words - High frequency use for mature language users and found across a variety of knowledge domains. Examples: coincidence, absurd, industrious, fortunate, etc.
    • Tier Three Words - Low frequency use and limited to specific knowledge domains. Examples: isotope, lathe, peninsula, refinery, etc.
      • Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. NY: Guilford.
  • Use explicit instructional strategies to teach vocabulary words.

Materials for Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary Activities
This website has lots of activities to develop student vocabulary such as word walls, multiple meanings, synonyms, and antonyms. There is also a book list featuring picture books with colorful (tier 2) words.

Smart Board Games and Activities for Vocabulary
What's in the Bag?

Young children can use descriptive language in authentic and purposeful ways to communicate in large-group settings. Using the What's in the Bag? interactive, young children develop speaking and listening skills as a part of language development, as well as connecting visual text with the printed word (shown at left). This shared-language experience emphasizes the importance of both those skills and, ultimately, the act for both participants is to relate meaning and expression.