The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to important vocabulary words prior to reading. The teacher follows a structured instructional routine during which she pronounces the word, provides a definition and provides opportunities for the students to discuss personal applications and connections to the new word with a partner.
Explicit instruction of vocabulary words before reading is important for several reasons. First, research suggests that explicit instruction provides students with both the ability and motivation to use reading strategies and skills independently to increase their comprehension of text. Second, activating and building knowledge of key vocabulary words prior to reading increases comprehension. Students who understand the meaning of key words prior to reading comprehend text more fully and, 1) establish a purpose for reading, 2) identify the most important ideas in the text, 3) make inferences about new words and concepts, 4) make connections between ideas, and 5) read with increased engagement and interest.