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Word Findings #3

Posted by Freddy Hiebert on 27 March 2007

An activity for developing content vocabulary is the “Vocabulary Visit.” Camille Blachowicz and Connie Obrochta, in The Reading Teacher (2005, 59, 262-267), describe the Vocabulary Visit as a “virtual field trip.” In many schools and for the many topics that are part of a school curriculum, field trips aren’t possible. A Vocabulary Visit serves as a viable alternative, providing students with a multitude of experiences with the core words related to a topic. The components of a Vocabulary Visit identified by Blachowicz and Obrochta are:

  • At least 5 selected books on the focal topic selected by the teacher,
  • A core group of words on the topic identified by the teacher,
  • A poster with pictures related to the topic to stimulate discussion, and
  • A series of activities in which the books are read and discussed and the words are discussed and used in writing.

In a webcast that I gave for Schools Moving Up on January 29, 2007, clips of an interview with Camille Blachowicz on Vocabulary Visits are included. If you go to http://www.schoolsmovingup.net/cs/wested/view/rs/4736*, you (and your colleagues) can view the webcast with clips of my interview with Professor Blachowicz. On the PowerPoint from this event, attend especially to slide 20 where Camille talks about Vocabulary Visits and slide 24 where she talks about the fit between Vocabulary Visits and English Language Learners. And, if you can’t download the videoclips, transcripts of the interview with Professor Blachowicz are included in the archived materials for the event (http://www.schoolsmovingup.net/cs/west/query/q/19).

*If you can’t access this, you can register as an educator on Schools Moving Up (and you’ll have access to the archives of this event and many other events and resources).