Teacher Toolbox
Learning Strategies - Reading


Research has suggested that the more encounters a child has with word meanings, the more vocabulary the child can acquire.  Instruction to support vocabulary development needs to be included in the reading instruction.

  • Read out loud to the class. Reading out loud provides exposure to new words and opportunities for children to ask and discuss word meanings.
  • When working with a topic or related words, use Semantic Mappings to help students compare and contrast words. This will help them to generate relationships and encourage them to draw conclusions about the relationships and meanings.
  • Have students make word webs to explore the features and meanings of words.
  • Teach students to visualize the meanings of words.  For example, encourage students to create a mental picture and to process the elements of the object or word. This may encourage them to think more about meanings and contexts.
  • Establish an independent reading time in the classroom.  During this time, sit with a students and encourage them to discuss the story and any words they have come across that they find interesting.
  • Teach students to categorize words.  This will help generate context that creates a foundation to support understanding and links to other words. 
  • Create a classroom dictionary of new words learned. Place a notebook in a central location. Separate the notebook into categories.  Try to relate the dictionary to themes studied in the classroom. 
    Some category headings may include:
      animals, rocks and minerals, transportation, man made objects. Use the student generated dictionary as a reference source for students.