I am committed to exploring and creating different teaching strategies to engage the students in my schools to build vivid, vital and valuable vocabularies! I am so fortunate to work alongside teachers across Australia who share this commitment!

Some background…

Students need many opportunities for developing a rich vocabulary through listening, speaking, reading, and writing in an integrated manner. Vocabulary instruction should be an integral component in a daily literacy block. Integrating vocabulary instruction provides students with numerous opportunities to manipulate and learn new vocabulary words. Incorporating vocabulary instruction throughout the content areas will encourage students to make connections to new and already known information, discuss meanings of new words, and demonstrate and appropriately apply the new words, providing multiple re-exposures to the words. Encouraging students to think strategically when learning new words is essential.

Creating Strategic Readers

Right now at one of my schools in Ballarat, Canadian Lead P.S., we are working together to explore the best practice in our literacy classrooms P-6.

I am keen to share a teaching strategy that I recently shared with my colleagues at this school.

Let’s get started!

  1. To build upon the students’ vocabularies in your classroom cut out words from newspapers to achieve their learning goals.


  1. Consider the range of words you have selected before mounting the words on coloured card and laminating.

Are there words with…?

  • More than one syllable
  • Single sound letter beginnings/endings
  • Blended sound letter beginnings/endings
  • Smaller words inside the larger words
  • Double letters
  • 2, 3 or 4 vowels
  • Prefixes
  • Suffixes

In your collection are there…?

  • Nouns
  • Proper nouns
  • Verbs
  • Adjectives
  • Common words
  • Student interest words
  1. Let the fun begin! Begin your literacy lesson by exploring these words. Ask each student to select a word that they can read well.
  1. Consider the learning goals in your classroom and work with these words in a variety of ways.

Here are some teaching ideas to consider:

  • Count the number of letters in the words
  • Does your word have more, less or the same number of lessons as your name?
  • Lucky dip a letter and find a word that begins and ends with the letter
  • Count the vowels in your word
  • Identify and share the beginning or ending letter name and sound
  • Sort the words by the number of syllables
  • Find a word that begins with the same letter as your name
  • Select a word and identify the opposite
  • Sort words into nouns and proper nouns
  • Create a sizzling start for your writing using your word
  • Find the word in your just right books
  • What connections can you make with this word?

What is a highly effective teaching idea for your students?

Check out my online shop to explore more teaching strategies to build vocabulary in your classroom.

Have fun with the word wizards in your classroom,