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Reading Apprenticeship and RATs: Word Meaning & Structure

This guide is to support RTC's RATs (Reading Apprenticeship Teachers and supporters) in improving student reading comprehension in content-areas with the use of WestEd's Reading Apprenticeship framework. RTC-RATs.org is now being redirected to this site.

Word Meaning and Structure - Definition and Use

Routine which helps students understand how vocabulary is constructed and used.

  RTC Library Materials about Word Meaning and Structure

Below are a few library materials about vocabulary or word meaning and structure. Click on the title for more information about the item from the library's online catalog. Ask the librarian for help in finding these and other materials.

RAT Tracks Tip Sheet - Word Meaning & Structure

The January 2012 issue of the RAT Tracks Tip Sheet features the use of vocabulary in helping students to better comprehend the text they are reading.

Ready-to-Use Templates - Word Meaning & Structure

These ready-to-use templates were created by RAT Pack Leader and ABE/GED instructor, Michele Lesmeister and include:

+ and –  Word Knowledge Chart:  This form helps students collect, review, and create meaning about words that are important in their readings.  This form helps students build new knowledge based on what they already know (their schema).

Clarification Chart:  This graphic organizer can help students discuss and learn the schema for learning vocabulary in context.  Context is critical in meaning making.

Definition Schematic:  This tool helps students learn the definition and the applications of a term and the terms in many of its forms and uses. The students are able to place the idiosyncrasies related to the terms in one place and build knowledge about the uses of the term.

Frayer Model:  The use of the Frayer model helps students define the term in their own language, illustrate it and then contrast that term with items or concepts which are not like the term being defined.  This graphic organizer is a strong scaffold for introducing new or key concepts in readings.

Semantic Web:  This graphic organizer provides a way for students to gather and connect a lot of information in one place and therefore helps them build schema around vocabulary. This graphic helps students differentiate word forms form one another, and thereby, expands the students’ use of the term. 

Websites about Word Meaning and Structure