ERIC Number: ED471071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-May
Word Detectives: Solving the Mystery of Vocabulary.
Elliott, Deborah A.; Formhals, Marilyn A.; Wheat, Jon G.
This research addressed vocabulary knowledge, which refers to the understanding of words, the overall ideas and concepts being communicated, and the ability to use those words in the appropriate context. The targeted population consisted of students in kindergarten, first grade, and fourth grade. An analysis of School Improvement Plans revealed a need for emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and development. In reviewing probable cause data, the researchers discovered classroom vocabulary instruction was inadequate, exposure to meaningful spoken language was insufficient, prior knowledge was limited, and achievement in reading was affected by the limited understanding of vocabulary. A thorough literature search resulted in the development of a variety of solution strategies which were implemented. These included increased reading time, the use of visual aids, multiple exposures to words, and the activation of prior knowledge. Postintervention data collected from standardized and teacher-created assessments indicated an increase in expressive and receptive vocabulary, improved richness and complexity of responses over time, enhanced understanding of new vocabulary, and an increased use of theme-related words in writing and speaking. Appended are: Parent Survey on vocabulary Knowledge; Teacher Survey on Vocabulary Knowledge and Instruction; Student Questionnaire on Vocabulary Knowledge (kindergarten and First Grade); Student Questionnaire on Vocabulary Knowledge and Instruction (Fourth Grade); Rubric for Vocabulary Using in Journal Writing; Weekly Pre-Test; Weekly Post-Test. The final appendixes contain the following worksheets from "Quick Activities To Build a Very Voluminous Vocabulary" and "50 Graphic Organizers for Reading, Writing, and More" (1999) published by Scholastic Professional Books: Vocabulary Inventory; Synonym Wheels; Word Webs; Feature Matrix; K-W-L Chart; Multiple Meaning Map; T-Chart; Word Tree; Venn Diagram; and Prefix and Suffix Web. (Contains 25 references, 8 figures, and 2 tables.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Professional Development Field-Based Master's Program. Appendixes containing copyrighted material are not available from ERIC.