Day 14 Teaching of Reading – Vocabulary Development

Read aloud poem: Rain by Ebenezer Joy.  This poem resonates with my love of rainy days as it characterizes the liquid wonder through metaphoric rhythms as celebrates its occurrence as a fun and exhilarating experience, beckoning moments of joy and laughter for the listener.

Ebenezer Jones (1820–1860)

MORE than the wind, more than the snow,
More than the sunshine, I love rain:
Whether it droppeth soft and low,
Whether it rusheth amain.

Dark as the night it spreadeth its wings, 5
Slow and silently, up on the hills;
Then sweeps o’er the vale, like a steed that springs
From the grasp of a thousand wills.

Swift sweeps under heaven the raven’s flight;
And the land and the lakes and the main 10
Lie belted beneath with steel-bright light,
The light of the swift-rushing rain.

On evenings of summer, when sunlight is low,
Soft the rain falls from opal-hued skies:
And the flowers the most delicate summer can show 15
Are not stirred by its gentle surprise.

It falls on the pools, and no wrinkling it makes,
But touching melts in, like the smile
That sinks in the face of a dreamer, but breaks
Not the calm of his dream’s happy wile. 20

The grass rises up as it falls on the meads,
The bird softlier sings in his bower,
And the circles of gnats circle on like winged seeds
Through the soft sunny lines of the shower.

Read aloud story: The Sticky Sticky Pine.  The Japanese story  presented an admonition to abusers of the symbiotic relationship mankind should enjoy with nature, allowing time to grow and heal; instead of applying destructive habits and techniques that result in human harm from nature’s demise.  The protagonist received a punishment of being tied up in a sap cocoon for breaking the tree’s branches in the hope of obtaining money.  The story reminds me of our quest for development and material advancement with oft times little respect for maintaining the harmony in nature.

We were encouraged to make a poster to conceptualize our learnings which I share below:

We were reminded that teaching reading required the implementation of creative strategies that were carefully planned and executed.  Common pitfalls to be avoided are asking the learner to:

  • look up the word to retrieve the meaning
  • memorize the word and its definition
  • apply context to its usage
  • organize their thoughts by using the word in a sentence

Surely these may work well for an advanced learner or a Toastmaster’s meeting but the employ of creative and innovative pedagogy yields more fruitful results:

  1. Bold integration with previous knowledge and experiences
  2. Active engagement through discussion, reading and writing material
  3. Repetition
  4. Relationship to other words
  5. Exposure to the word through visual tools & guided independent reading

Some useful teaching strategies were discussed and applied.

Semantic maps provide visual and or pictorial representations to assist the learner to connect the word through meaningful engagement.  Either a web, Venn or fishbone diagram can help visually organize and orient the learner to embrace and understand the vocabulary being introduced.  The idea is to situate the new word for learning in a central or prominent position on the chart.  Of course involving the learner in the activity by way of providing ideas or drawing and writing create a positive immersive environment.  In my example below the word being introduced is PRECIPITATION.  The words around help connect the learner to the idea and the different representations of precipitation.

Concept maps are similar. Here is my concept map for the word HAPPY where synonyms are arranged around the word under discussion to provide expanded meanings for the word HAPPY:


The introduction of syllabication to explain the phonetic composition of words is best introduced with the learner’s name through beats.  Thereafter words can be introduced and categorized by syllable division  Here is my name written using the IPA phonetic alphabet:

Other teaching strategies for vocabulary development include word trees, word connect and word walls.


Love to write & share experiences...

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