Where would we be without words? It’s hard to imagine. Words are a basic building block of communication, and a strong vocabulary is an essential part of reading, writing, and speaking well.


Scholastic’s best-selling series “240 Words Kids Need to Know” for grades one through six now has a new look but is still just what you need to help students build their vocabulary skills. Each grade-perfect book includes 24 ready-to-go, 3-page lessons that each teach 10 words, and include research-based activities. By building on prior knowledge, students are offered multiple encounters with new words to help ensure they are remembered. The books are designed to help students fluently express independent thoughts using their new vocabulary words.


Tips for Using the Lessons:


  • • Consider having students fill out “Word Inventory Sheets” before each lesson. The headings for such a sheet might be: Words I Know; Words I Have Seen but Don’t Really Know; New Words. Students can list the vocabulary words and probable meanings under the headings. As the lesson proceeds, they can make revisions and additions.


  • • Many words have more than one meaning, including some not given in the lesson. You may want to point out additional meanings or invite students to discover them independently.


  • • Have students complete the Writing to Learn activities in a notebook or journal so they have a specific place where they can refer to and review words.


  • • Many words can be used as more than one part of speech. Expand students’ vocabulary by drawing attention to such usage.


  • • Consider having students make a set of word cards for each lesson, or make a class set and place it in your writing center.


  • • Be aware of pronunciation differences when teaching homographs. Not all students may pronounce words in the same way, and this can lead to confusion.


  • • Encourage students to make semantic maps for some words. For instance, they might create a map for a noun to show what the word is, and what it is like and not like.


  • • Talk about other forms of a word, for example, loyal, loyalty, disloyal, loyalist. Encourage students to word build in this fashion.

The 240 Vocabulary Words Kids Need to Know series, offers 24 great units per book to get kids (and keep kids) building vocabulary in key areas.


A powerful vocabulary opens doors for children and adults alike—and helps test scores soar! Resources that help to build vocabulary through mini-lessons, brain teasers, and game, give kids a solid knowledge of words and their meanings—just what they need for the tests, and in life! Click here to see more vocabulary-building resources!