Build Vocabulary and Engagement with Word Up
The Word Up Project is an award-winning vocabulary and reading program, a comprehensive resource for teaching Tier 2 words. Word Up is a research-based, standards-aligned resource that is proven to raise scores on state reading tests.
Read on to find subject-wide lesson plans, implementation suggestions and and mini games and then experience a Word Up video.
Subject-Wide Lesson Plans
Students will use context clues to determine the meaning of words in Word Up songs, building this important skill for reading comprehension.
Connect to Other Language Arts Topics You can use Word Up songs to teach other language arts topics, including idioms, literary analysis, reading/oral comprehension and grammar.
Word Up Schedule
The exercises and sections within each Word Up unit can be assigned flexibly and accommodate any schedule. Use them as homework, group work, independent practice or as components of an after-school program. See a sample schedule for grades 2-5 here and a sample schedule for grades 6-8 here.
Using the Assessments
Each unit of Word Up includes a quiz to assess student mastery of the vocabulary words. You can find it by clicking on Quiz in the left-side menu. In addition, each grade level includes a pre-assessment and post-assessment. At the end of the unit, measure vocabulary growth by comparing results on the pre- and post- assessments. Find the pre- and post-assessments for each Word Up grade level here.
If you aren't sure which Word Up level is best for your students, use our diagnostic test to determine the appropriate grade level.
Defining the Words
Find the words covered in the song in the topic description of the Teacher’s Guide. You can choose to explicitly pre-teach the vocabulary words in the song or review them after the song. The Lyric Notes have definitions, sample sentences and photographs for each word. Instead of just reading through the definitions, try these methods for fun and effective definition sharing.
Reviewing the Words
It’s helpful to watch the video more than once with students. After watching the video twice, go through the Quick Review and interactive Fill in the Blank features with your class. The Quick Review for these videos addresses basic story comprehension as well as word meanings. For the Fill in the Blank, students must remember the vocabulary words specifically. If your students need extra help, you can give students two word options for each blank or create a word bank.
Give students more practice with the words by following the exercise sequence. This sequence will supplement the Quick Review and mini games to provide additional 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 (Word Up Turquoise, Red, Orange and Indigo) and the exercise sequence for middle grades (Word Up Green, Yellow and Blue).
Using the Extension Questions
Each Word Up has writing questions that test knowledge of words and allow students to practice using the vocabulary words in new contexts. 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.
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, and they serve as an excellent way to 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!