Easy Strategies for Teaching Science Vocabulary Collected by a Study Group of 4th and 5th Grade SMFC Teachers Why is vocabulary instruction a key to students’ success in science?
There are three important reasons: • When we teach science vocabulary, we are really teaching important concepts. Words like erosion, electromagnetism, and respiration require much more than simple definitions; they incorporate complex ideas about how the world works. • Success on the fifth grade STAR test in science requires that students have an understanding of science content vocabulary. • Research shows that knowledge of vocabulary is one of the most significant predictors of reading comprehension and success in school in general. Why this handbook? Because developing students’ understanding of vocabulary in science is so important, we have put together this booklet of trategies that are proven to be effective. The use of a few strategies consistently will have the most impact on student learning. What are key elements in science vocabulary instruction?
Here are some guiding principles: • Vocabulary needs to be taught both directly (intentionally) and indirectly(incidentally).
This can happen in a language-rich environment in which students have opportunities to experience, hear, read and talk about new vocabulary. • Students must experience words in context multiple times and in multiple ways in order to learn them. Research suggests that at least six exposures are needed before a student can recall and remember the meaning of a word.