Word Play: Vocabulary Instruction in the Primary Grades

(Grades K-3) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 80T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41480


Course Description

Are you looking for ways to rapidly grow your students' vocabulary? This online course focuses on ways to improve students' vocabulary in the primary grades. The course begins by building a foundation for teaching vocabulary including an understanding of the three tiers of words. Then, the effects of vocabulary on comprehension are explored. Then, options for vocabulary assessment are shared so teachers understand where students are at in their vocabulary development. The results of the assessment will be used to guide instruction and select appropriate and effective instructional strategies. Strategies presented in the course include word parts and word roots, semantic feature analysis, categorization/classification, analogies, semantic maps, concept maps, traditional resources, the cloze procedure, and the maze procedure. Teachers will gain an strategies for teaching sight words and high frequency words. Teachers will learn the importance of reading aloud to students and establishing a print-rich classroom environment in order to build students’ vocabularies. Strategies for teaching content area vocabulary are also shared. Finally, specific intervention strategies for struggling students are also provided. By the end of this course, teachers will understand the best practices for building students’ vocabularies. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Your courses have been beneficial. The final assignments are always great because I am actually able to use them in my classroom." - Sue Wiles

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$124

Course with Credit from UCSD

$329

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41480
Unit One
  • Focus on Vocabulary Research
  • Three Tiers of Words
  • The Effects of Vocabulary on Comprehension
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Vocabulary Assessment
  • Cloze Procedure and Maze Technique
  • Sight Word Vocabulary and High Frequency Words
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Structural Analysis
  • Word Parts and Word Roots
  • Creating a Print-Rich Classroom
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Semantic and Concept Maps
  • Semantic Feature Analysis
  • Categorization/Classification
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Figurative Language and Literature
  • Content Area Vocabulary
  • Reading Aloud to Students
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Analogies
  • Building Word Awareness through Play
  • Promoting Reading
  • Vocabulary Interventions
  • Assignment #4: Locate literature books that can be used to teach figurative language
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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