Elementary Literacy Support

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What is vocabulary? Effective communication depends on the vocabulary we utilize.  The two types of vocabulary are oral and written.  Oral vocabulary is what is spoken and heard, while written vocabulary is what is in print. 


Why is vocabulary development important?  Listening, speaking, reading, and writing vocabulary development is important in all content areas.  Building vocabulary skills increases reading comprehension and reading fluency.  It is essential to learn a multitude of strategies to learn word meanings.  Students need to use words correctly in oral and written language.


How can teachers help students build vocabulary? Vocabulary can be developed directly and indirectly. Explicitly teaching individual words, word meanings, word learning strategies, and new words in different contexts is direct instruction.  Indirect ways include engaging in oral language, listening to adults read, and independent reading.  Teachers can encourage students to read both at home and at school.  Expanding the vocabulary knowledge of English language learners is extremely important.


Houghton Mifflin Vocabulary Materials

  • Teacher Edition vocabulary
  • Vocabulary and spelling cards
  • Teacher Edition Theme Resources
  • Vocabulary Readers
  • English Language Learner Handbook
  • Extra Support Handbook



Information and Intervention Sites

  • On-line vocabulary games

Learning Vocabulary Fun



Professional Books

Words to Life book


Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary instruction by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Linda Kucan

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Vocabulary Handbook book


Vocabulary Handbook (Core Literacy Library)
by Linda Diamond and  Linda Gutlohn


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Allen book

Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12 By Janet Allen

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graves book


The Vocabulary Book: Learning and Instruction by Graves, Michael F.

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* A link to book publishers is provided here in order to read a description of the text; however ASD does not specifically endorse these publishers.