School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic D. Vocabulary

Indicator 1. Develop and apply vocabulary through exposure to a variety of texts


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a student should be engaged in an ongoing acquisition of vocabulary. The development of a pertinent, useful working vocabulary is accomplished not only in the Reading/English Language Arts classroom but also in the science, math, social studies, practical arts and fine arts classrooms. An exposure to a variety of texts is promoted through classroom read-alouds, self-read text, discussion about text, or analysis of artwork, informational charts, music lyrics, etc… As students participate in classes in all content areas, they should learn the language of that discipline. The language they learn and use in each of those content areas expands a student's vocabulary, which allows a student to own those words and to use them profitably in learning and societal venues.

Students develop and apply vocabulary during the course of classroom discussion and instruction. As students participate in classroom activities, sometimes students, through discussion or conferencing with the instructor for monitored reading, may hear unfamiliar words. Students should be encouraged to question the meaning of those words and instruction should encompass the meaning and function of those words to enhance and extend the boundaries of a student's vocabulary.

Different disciplines use different texts, which furthers student exposure to new vocabulary. Even within the Reading/English Language Arts classroom students access a variety of texts that range from anthologies, to novels, to periodicals, etc… [A complete list is available within the Reading Toolkit at Standard Three, Indicator Three clarification.] In classes of different disciplines, it might be more common to interact with sets of written instructions, graphs, charts, etc… [A complete list is available within the Reading Toolkit at Standard Two, Indicator One clarification.] All of these exposures to different texts allow opportunities to collect and use a comprehensive range of words with the goal of increasing the communicative abilities of students.