Vocabulary A-Z is a classy online resource to support vocabulary development under the Learning A-Z umbrella. Vocabulary weaknesses may underlie reading comprehension problems and are often characteristic of students with language disabilities, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, and English language learners. Vocabulary A-Z offers pre-made lessons linked to Reading A-Z; in fact, they’re also linked to Science A-Z, Harcourt Trophies, Macmillan Treasures, Scott Foresman Reading Street, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys.
How does it work? Teachers can select from pre-made lessons, as noted above, or find pre-made vocabulary lists from three grade levels: Tier One for grades K-1, Tier Two for 2-5, and Tier Three for grades 6+. You may search for words under function (primarily parts of speech, but also compound words, articles, figures of speech, and more) or subject area content (including computer technology). Another section of vocabulary resources are linked to Learning A-Z resources, with a whopping set of materials for English Language Learners. Finally, vocabulary lists are available under “Special Lists,” which would relate well to special ed reading instruction. These lists include Dolch, Fry, and Marzano words, as well as Common Core academic vocabulary.
What if you want a personalized list? I typically create my own word lists from Vocabulary A-Z, which is another useful feature of this resource. With the massive lists noted above, I have yet to add a word not already available on site.
What kinds of activities are included? The vocabulary lessons are designed for a five-day sequence of instruction, which is easily editable, by the way. At all grade levels, the vocabulary activities include: matching word cards to definitions and/or sentences, analogies, cloze sentences, concept development, and comprehension assessment. The Vocabulary A-Z graphics are similar to the Frayer model, a graphic organizer used to develop vocabulary comprehension through examples, non-examples, sentences, pictures, and definitions. More teacher suggestions are included in many lesson plans, with more active learner involvement for Tiers One and Two.
Other positives: As a special educator, I appreciate the emphasis on parts of speech for all vocabulary, which I have found effective in supporting both reading and writing. The vastness of the vocabulary lists, as well as the ability to select the activities I prefer, make Vocabulary A-Z a terrific resource for individualized instruction. For classroom teachers, the pre-made lists would be great time savers with a heterogenous large group.
Costs? Time is money to a teacher, so this site is a no-brainer. Right now, Vocabulary A-Z is on sale for $29.95 for a year’s subscription. That’s $10 off the regular price.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars