Word Meaning Graphic Organizer

There are dozens of graphic organizers for vocabulary study but this one clearly shows how to embed vocabulary learning into a wider process of reading. It asks students to think about a word in a variety of ways, to notice when and how it is being used, and why it’s important to know. Students complete the organizer in small groups as they read and discover the various pieces of information about it.

Remember those long lists of words that you studied in preparation of the S.A.T. exam, once upon a time? How many do you remember and use know? Vocabulary is not learned effectively by memorizing lists and definitions, but seeing words in use, in their customary context. In return, good vocabulary study supports and deepens the students’ thinking about the material that they are reading. An effective vocabulary graphic organizer allows students to gather their contextualized experiences of a word in one place, where they can put pieces of their knowledge together and solidify it.

1. It is best that students work in small groups so please put them in their groups first.

2. Choose three to six words from the material the students are studying that you believe will be challenging for them. Avoid longer lists-even adults find that they lose focus rather than learn more when trying to digest too much vocabulary all at once

3. The groups can have a number of organizer sheets going for each of the key words in a study unit, and add various entries as they encounter information that expands their understanding of each word.

4. As students read, they meet periodically in their groups to discuss which aspects of the words they think they’ve learned about, and then decide together how to fill in the boxes on the sheet. Explain that they shouldn’t expect to fill in every box right away; the idea is to discover more about words as they go along.

Subjects Matter

*Students will work in groups centered on the text. Each group will be given a few copies of the word meaning graphic organizer and will be assigned reading regarding energy. Before reading the section the groups will be given a list of vocabulary that they will need to know. They will fill these words into the top of their word meaning graphic organizer. They then will fill in the parts of the organizer that they believe they know such as topic, parts of the word that we recognize and examples. This portion describes what overall subject is that they would find this word, what root words that they see and do students know an example of where this word may be used. An example of exothermic is provided where they will know that it is under the topic of energy and creating bonds. The root word is thermic like thermal and that leaves the students with the impression of heat. They will begin their treading about energy and reactions. They will stop their reading periodically and meet back in their groups to fill in any part of the word meaning graphic organizer that they have learned from the reading to that point. Other parts of the graphic organizer include word meaning, why it's important, where the word is used, and how it connects with other words. Students will find the meaning, heat is given off when a chemical reaction is completed, and then describe why it is important, if you are mixing chemicals one should know if the reaction will give off heat, where it is used, in the chemistry book as well as other places, and how it connects to other words, description of other chemical reactions such as endothermic reactions. This strategy will help student develop a stronger and longer lasting understanding of vital vocabulary in a section that may be centered on vocabulary usage.