“Word Lessons” Using Words from Teengagement® Units of Study


At times, my students need direct instruction on word parts, vowel sounds, word sight recognition, etc. To do this, I’ve begun utilizing words from the Teengagement® Units of Study I am teaching. I pre-assess students on their recognition of the words I choose, then develop a lesson that requires students to see and repeat sounds, words, word parts, etc. of the words they haven’t yet mastered. Students then use the article to practice and track their fluency.

Getting Started

  • Choose about 100 words from a Teengagement® Unit of Study. Make a list from the easiest to most difficult. (You may give attention to Tier 1 through Tier 3 words.)
  • Assess students individually, asking them to read the list of words, and note words they do not immediately recognize. Use the most commonly missed words as the foundation for PowerPoint word lessons. I typically do this during the previous unit’s post-test.

Word Lessons Step-by-Step

  • Make it fun! Using colorful, interesting slide backgrounds goes a long ways towards engaging students. I like to add fast-paced instrumental music to the slides.
  • Underline common word parts (prefixes, suffixes, etc.) and have students repeat them.
  • Use root words (I call them “cousins”). For instance, if students struggle with the word “society,” I start with “social.” We talk about the meanings of both, their shared word parts and how similarities make them like “cousins.”
  • Repeat the words and parts in different ways. Take for example, a slide with the words: social, literal,mental. I would point to “al,” say its sound, and students repeat. I would say “social” and students repeat, then move to the next words. Creatively get students to see and say the words as much as possible.
  • Choose a few sentences to practice echo-reading. Color code phrases or groups of words. I tell my students to “open their field of vision” to see and read words in groups, not one -at-a-time. Remind them to “hear” the pause of punctuation and to use comprehension to determine the tone and expression of the passage.


  • I may use the same unit or article in class, every-other day, for two to three weeks so they experience success with those words and word parts.
  • Assess using pair reading or individual read-alouds for a fluency check.

Word lessons take planning, but in my experience students are engaged while they work on word recognition and fluency skills.

word lessons using bub

You can download the word list I chose to evaluate my students  using the Teengagement® Unit of Study Busting Up Bullying 1100L  by clicking here: Words for Bullying. Also available for your classroom use are six days of PowerPoint word lessons for this unit. Download the PowerPoints by clicking the following links: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6.

– References

Vocabulary. Form DL-J. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2012. Retrieved from http://dpi.wi.gov/files/cal/pdf/vocabulary.pdf

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