The Word Up Project: An award-winning vocabulary & reading program for grades K-8
The Word Up Project teaches interdisciplinary Tier 2 words to boost reading skills across the curriculum. Engaging videos, exercises, games and quizzes provide a comprehensive resource for direct vocabulary instruction. Word Up is research-based, CCSS-aligned and proven to raise scores on state reading tests.
Experience a Word Up unit now, or read on to learn about suggestions for implementing current events instruction in your classroom, recommended lesson plans and mini games.
Word Up Schedule
Flocabulary's vocabulary-building program, The Word Up Project, can be used in flexible formats to accommodate your schedule. The exercises and sections within each unit can be assigned as homework, done as a group in class, completed as independent study or used as components of an after-school program. See the sample schedule for grade levels 2 - 5 or the sample schedule for grade levels 6 - 8 to help guide your instruction.
Using the Assessments
Each unit of Word Up includes a unit test that can be given at the end of each unit to gauge knowledge. You can find it by clicking "Test" on the righthand side of the page.
Additionally, each grade level of Word Up includes a pre-assessment and post-assessment. The pre-assessment measures your students' vocabulary levels before they begin The Word Up Project and is presented in the same format and level of difficulty as the post-assessment. At the end of the unit, you will be able to measure vocabulary growth by comparing results on the pre- and post- assessments. Click here for pre- and post-assessments for each Word Up grade level, as well as answer keys.
And if you aren't sure which Word Up level is best for your students, you can use our diagnostic test to determine the appropriate grade level.
Before you watch the video...
This is where most lessons will start. If the song is nonfiction, first ask if anyone is familiar with the topic covered (i.e., the Gold Rush or superstitions). Click on Intro and select a student to read the introduction aloud. The introduction familiarizes students with the topic covered in the song. Feel free to provide additional information. For example, you may wish to have students look at a map of the United States before you play the Gold Rush song or discuss common superstitions before you begin the superstitions song.
Defining the Words
You can find the words covered in the song by clicking on the topic description link. You can choose to explicitly pre-teach the vocabulary words in the song, or review them after the song. The interactive infoboxes have definitions, sample sentences and photographs for each word. Instead of just reading through the definitions, try one of these methods for fun and effective definition sharing. You can also have your students watch the video and then use context clues to figure out word meanings and work backwards to define them.
Reviewing the Words
Teachers find it helpful to watch the video more than once with their students. After watching the video twice, go through the Challenge Questions and interactive Fill in the Blank feature with your class. The Challenge Questions for these videos get at basic story comprehension as well as word meanings both in and out of the context of the story. Some of the questions offer the vocabulary word and ask about its meaning, and others give the meaning or definition and the students need to come up with the correct word. For the Fill in the Blank activity, students are being asked to remember the vocabulary words specifically. If your students need extra help, you can scaffold it by give students two word options for each blank or creating a word bank which each word.
After you introduce the vocabulary words to your class, give your students more practice with the words by following the exercise sequence. This sequence will supplement challenge questions and mini games to give students extensive exposure to word usage and meaning. It is not necessary to include all suggestions; instead, choose the ones that you think will work best for your students. See the exercise sequence for elementary grades (Turquoise, Red, Orange and Indigo). See the exercise sequence for middle grades (Green, Yellow and Blue).
Using the Further Writing Questions
Each level of Word Up has further writing questions that test knowledge of words from that level and allow students further practice of words from the unit. See the list of questions for all levels here.
Increase student engagement and excitement by making each student a word rep. Each student will be responsible for one word per unit and will be the class expert on that word during the unit. Learn more about how to get your students repping words.
Students will be surprised by how often they see their Word Up vocabulary words in the real world. Isabel Beck, an expert on direct vocabulary instruction, created an ongoing game called Word Wizard in which students can earn credit on unit tests for using vocabulary words in their speech and writing or for bringing in examples of the word from the real world. Learn how to set up Word Wizard here.
Recommended Lesson Plans
Students can use context clues to determine word meaning in all of the Word Up songs. Teach students about context clues and how to determine meaning from surrounding text. When students are made aware of this strategy, and have time to practice it, they will have more success decoding word meanings from anything they read.
Using Word Up to Teach Other Subjects
Word Up songs were designed to teach vocabulary and improve reading skills, but they are also great for reaching other language arts topics. These lesson plans use Word Up songs to teach idioms, literary analysis, reading/oral comprehension and grammar.
Enhance students' vocabulary comprehension and spice up your lesson with mini games! These games are intentionally designed to require minimal preparation and basic rules so that you can fill those remaining minutes before the bell or divide up a long lesson with a quick, energetic break. The games can be used to review the current unit's words and older ones as well, and they serve as an excellent way to informally check for understanding. These games can also be expanded for longer play and review, which may be especially useful in after-school and summer-school sessions. Get playing!
How do you use The Word Up Project in your classroom? Contact us to share your implementation tips.