• Katelyn Robey

Vocabulary Rich Books

Updated: Jun 9

My daughter and I have been going to to library every couple of weeks. While I thought I had a good handle on children’s books, I am learning that there are SO MANY vocabulary rich books that I had no idea even existed.


Below is an every-growing list of books I find that are rich in excellent vocabulary words to teach your students. I love using Marzano’s strategies for teaching vocabulary, as I have found it to be highly effective. Teach the words as a focused vocabulary lesson using Marzano’s method (linked – soon) or quickly make mention of them as you read with your students. Either way, the students will be immersed in excellent words because of the books listed below.


The House That Zack Built by Alison Murray

This book is a fun play on the classic poem, The House That Jack Built. This text is best for younger (kindergarten or first grade) students. Words that caught my eye include stalked, approached, determined, serene, roused, despite, gasped, and gazed.


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

What a classic winter story for little readers! Words to highlight for young students are covered, along, piled, path, sank, track, smacking, heaping, and adventures (some seem overly simple, but plenty of children may not know them).


Beyond The Pond by Joseph Kuefler

This book is like the next step after Where The Wild Things Are (one of my all-time faves). It’s such a fun adventure story about a boy bored out of his mind who decides to figure out how deep his pond goes, but he discovers a whole new, fabulous world! Read this to your 1-3 grade kiddos! Words to notice with students: ordinary, exceptional, gathered, raucous, and brawled. There are also some excellent examples of affixes to discuss with students ready to jump into concepts of morphology: prepared, shapeless, lightless, unimaginable, explorer, endlessness, and unexplored. The words that use the suffix -less are very well supported by the illustrations (the others are too, I just happen to like the -less examples a lot).


The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco

This book for older students (grade 2 and up, I’d suggest) is all about acceptance. It is FULL of amazing vocabulary! While my list is long, I filtered out a lot of words and kept the list limited to words with great context clues or an interesting take on the word’s meaning: summoned (in the forward), strange, gawky, magnified, adjusted, acquired, risking, burst, determine, announced, tribes, arranged, shaken, assorted, stupendous, hollow, device, defy, unanimous, sponsored, mounted, gathered, huddled, stunned, and speculated.


#tier2 #comprehension #readaloud #reading #vocabulary #readinginstruction #readinglesson #vocabularyinstruction

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