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:
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).