The Word Up Project: An award-winning vocabulary and reading program for grades 2-8
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 implementing direct vocabulary instruction in your classroom.
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.
Starting the Unit
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.
Using the Song and Clickable Lyrics
Each unit page opens to a song or video—the heart of the Flocabulary program. Below it, you'll find lyrics to each song. Begin by listening to the song or watching the video. Afterward, click on the lyrics to display definitions of the unit's words. Students can take notes on the words using the note-taking worksheet. The worksheet helps students organize information for their first exposure to information and review alike!
Using the Challenge Questions
Immediately following the song, test students' knowledge with challenge questions. The questions test students on what they heard in the song or video. It's easy to use the challenge questions as a game. Just divide your class into two or more groups, and have the groups compete to answer the questions.
Using Fill in the Blanks
You can remove the key words from the songs by clicking on Fill in the Blanks on the top menu. After the students have heard the song a few times, project the lyrics and have students demonstrate knowledge of the correct word by writing it on a piece of paper (individually or in a group), or coming up to the board and writing it alongside the projected lyrics. Students can demonstrate mastery of the lyrics while the song is playing or afterward.
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. See the full context clue lesson.
Defining the Words
After students approximate the definition of the word through context clues, there are many different and engaging ways to present the official definitions found by clicking on the words. Simply reading these word definitions can be extremely dull and limit learning of meaning. Instead of just reading through the definitions, try one of these methods for fun and effective definition sharing.
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.
Using the Tests
Each unit of Word Up includes a quiz that can be given at the end of each unit to gauge knowledge. 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.
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. Click here for a list of games.
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. Click here for lesson plans on how to use Word Up songs to teach idioms, literary analysis, reading/oral comprehension and grammar.
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.
Writing Academic Rhymes
Writing is a key component of any vocabulary program. And our Writing Academic Rhymes lesson plans will add some spark to your students' writing and give them many opportunities to practice their vocabulary. Our Writing Academic Rhymes lesson sequence covers everything from creating basic mnemonic rhymes to writing complete hip-hop songs.