vocabulary strand teks talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking--vocabulary. The student uses newly acquired vocabulary expressively.

Ask students to identify the meaning of the word. There are a few different formats that can be used for questioning.


  • Show students a base word, add the inflectional ending, and ask them to state what the word means
    • Example 1: Show students the word run and then ask them to read the word. Now add -ing and ask students to read the word. Ask students to explain why the word is different. (The word run is an action [I can run], but running means that you are doing it continuously).
    • Example 2: Show students the words dance and danced. Students would explain how they are different. (Dance is an action word and danced means you did it in the past).
  • Show students two pictures and a word and ask them which picture shows the word.
    • Example 1: Show students two pictures, one of one dog and one of two dogs, and show them the word dogs. Ask students to point to the picture that matches dogs and ask how they know. Students should pick the picture with two dogs and say, “I picked this picture because there is an -s at the end of this word, so that means there is more than one.”
    • Example 2: Use the words crying and cried. Show a picture of a child crying and a picture of a child with swollen eyes and a runny nose but no tears. If the word is cried, students should pick the second picture and say, “We know the child is not crying because there are no tears, but instead he cried and that is why his eyes are swollen.” (This one is more difficult because students are making inferences too).
  • Show students variations of a root word with different inflectional endings and ask them to explain how the word is different.
    • Example 1: Lay out a chart with the base word, -s endings, -ed endings, and -ing endings. Ask students to take the word jump and write the new words under each category with the different endings. Students should write jumps, jumped, jumping. The teacher would say, “How are these words different?” Students would respond, “Jumps means the student did it once, jumped means the student already did it, and jumping means the student is doing it over and over again.”
    • Example 2: Instead of being asked to verbally explain the difference, students might be asked to write a sentence with each word. If the words are used in the proper context, that shows that students understand the meaning.

To keep track of student understanding, give students one point for each correct answer. A teacher can choose to assess only one way or may put the multiple formats for questions into one assessment tool.

Affixes are word elements that are added before (prefix) or after (suffix) a base word to modify its meaning (e.g., the prefix un- and the suffix -able in unbelievable).

Recognizing affixes and understanding the specific changes they bring to a base word can help students decode and process unfamiliar words as well as manipulate and construct words of their own.