Vocabulary Preview

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
19 January 2012

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What is a Vocabulary Preview?

This is an individual pre-reading strategy that provides students with a vocabulary list that they will encounter in a given text or video. Before reading about, or viewing a video about an unfamiliar topic, students identify how familiar they are with a group of vocabulary words and are then given the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the words, as well as the topic.

Why use it?

  • To access and activate prior knowledge of vocabulary found in a text or video
  • To preview vocabulary that the students will be engaging in when reading/viewing a text or video
  • To track new vocabulary students encounter when reading a reading/viewing a text or video

How do I use it?

Vocabulary Preview
  • Create a vocabulary list for a given article or video using the Vocabulary Preview Template (see image at right) or use one of the Ready-to-Use Vocabulary Preview BLMs created for CurioCity content (see below).
  • Provide each student with the prepared Vocabulary Preview page at the beginning of the class.
  • Students complete the Vocabulary Preview activity before they read/view the selected text/video.
  • Students categorize each word from the list and decide whether:
    • The word is totally new;
    • They have heard of the word, yet are not sure of its meaning;
    • They know the meaning of the word; or
    • They know the meaning of the word and can use it in a sentence.
  • Students can hand in their completed Vocabulary Preview pages to the teacher as a formative assessment of prior knowledge of the topic.

Tips for success

  • Choose an article or text you want your students to read. This strategy can work well with texts that present new vocabulary to the reader.
  • Provide the students with additional sources of information on the given topic such as websites, books, etc.
  • If creating your own Vocabulary Preview, create a list of words from the selected text/video that you feel are important for the students to understand. List both familiar and unfamiliar words so that the students can begin to understand the relationship between the words.

Variations

  • Once completed, the Vocabulary Preview can be used in different ways:
    • Students can work in pairs and discuss their responses. Students can then work together to define the unfamiliar words; or
    • Difficult words and concepts can be explicitly taught prior to reading the text to ensure the students are able to fully access the information presented.

Extensions

  • Students can work together to practice pronunciations of the words in the Vocabulary Preview list.
  • Students can research the meaning of the words in the list.
  • Given a list of definitions, students then match these to the words in the list.

Sources

RSU 54/MSAD 54. (2011). Before Reading – Previewing. (accessed May 6, 2014).

Adapted from Porter, K. (n.d.). Reading: Prereading Strategies. (accessed Dec. 16, 2016).

Create-Your-Own Vocabulary Preview

  • Vocabulary Preview Template [.doc] [.pdf]

Starting Points Using Vocabulary Previews

Ready-to-Use Vocabulary Previews

  • Vocabulary Preview: Algae Alert [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Astronomy 101: Deep Space Objects [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Back into Focus [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Beneath the Band-aid [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Blood Sucking Souvenirs [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: The Bright Way to Light Up the Season [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: The Classification of Life: From Linnaean Taxonomy to DNA Barcoding [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: The Dirt on Soil Conservation [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Electronic Books for the Digital Age [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Food chains, food choices and the environment [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: GM? GE? Gee Whiz! [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Hop to it! The science behind beer [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: How do X-rays Work Anyways? [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Mutations [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Natural Rubber - the Other Wonderful (but less tasty) Tree Sap [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Nuking Your Food [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Ringwoodite: The missing link in Earth's water cycle [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: What is Cancer? [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: What is Thermodynamics? [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Vocabulary Preview: Why are there natural disasters on Earth? [.doc] [.pdf]

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation

This content is provided through Let's Talk Science's Education Services team.


Ce contenu est fourni par l'équipe des services d'éducation de Parlons sciences.







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