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 3. Understand, acquire, and use new vocabulary

Clarification

To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, students should use the words, phrases, and sentences that surround unfamiliar words to develop a meaning for new vocabulary. These surrounding words, phrases, and sentences may offer clues to the meaning of the unfamiliar word. These clues might offer a meaning for the unknown word through a synonym, antonym, descriptive clues, or situational details, etc… Using these context clues can help a student access the meaning of above grade level words and words with multiple meanings.

To further new word acquisition, a reader should analyze the structure of an unknown word. By investigating the roots, prefixes, and suffixes of unfamiliar words, students should note common or familiar parts of that word and determine the meaning of the new word through deconstruction. Once meaning of individual parts of the word have been determined, the meaning of the entire word is possible.

Individually, a student can clarify and confirm the meaning and history of a new vocabulary word by accessing available resources. These resources include but are not limited to traditional and electronic versions of dictionaries and thesauruses as well as information within the text itself such as glossaries, footnotes, sidebars, and various text features.

Once new vocabulary has been added, a student should solidify the knowledge of those words by incorporating them into writing and speaking assignments. In whole class and small group discussions students should attempt to use them within a proper context. Doing so will embed knowledge not only of the individual word or words but also offer practice in the language of the discipline. When writing for explanatory, descriptive, or narrative purposes, a student should include newly acquired vocabulary. Continued use of new vocabulary assists a student in internalizing these new words and becoming conversant in vocabulary aligned with the instruction of a variety of subjects.

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