Step 2 of Marzano’s 6-Steps to Vocabulary Instruction

Keep reading to learn about Dr. Marzano's second step in effective vocabulary instruction!

The first step of Marzano’s 6-steps for effective vocabulary instruction is to provide the terms and a definition, explanation or example of each (CLICK HERE for a post about it). But, we want our students to be able to do more than just recite back the definitions they were given (rote memorization); we want them to understand and be able to apply them too. That’s where Marzano’s next step kicks in.

According to Dr. Marzano, the next step is to have students re-state the definitions in their own words. This is kind of the social studies version of showing your work in math – it lets us see their thinking and the connections they are making. I achieve this step in my class in a couple of ways:

  • Vocabulary Charts
    • On the first vocabulary day of each unit, part of my students’ assignment is to put the definition into their own words on the unit vocabulary sheet.
  • “Partner Clues” Warm Up Activity
    • One of my variety of daily vocabulary warm up activities is called “partner clues”. In pairs, one student picks a word from the list and defines it in their own words for their partner who then tries to guess the term. If the partner is correct, they switch roles. If the partner is incorrect, they get a new clue.

 

The concept is also built into many of the “Turn and Talks” I embed in most of my interactive note presentations (CLICK HERE to check out my interactive notes) to help students understand content better by hearing in different words.

Keep reading to learn about Dr. Marzano's second step in effective vocabulary instruction!
Check out PreparingLifelongLearnersSocialStudies.com for great tips, tricks and resources to make Social Studies your students' favorite class!