The University of Iowa

Enhancing Basal Vocabulary Instruction in Kindergarten


In order to enhance the basal vocabulary instruction for kindergarten students at risk for reading difficulties, lessons provided in typical curricular materials can be supplemented with instructional elements derived from research. This paper addresses how teachers can add 15 minutes of higher order instructional activities to daily reading lessons to deepen students’ understanding of target vocabulary and offer multiple exposures to the words in different contexts. This enhanced basal vocabulary instruction model was field tested in two configurations of the kindergarten reading block to refine the procedures. These experiences provide insights into how the model can feasibly be implemented in small- or whole-group formats to improve students’ learning and engagement.


*Lenfest, A., & Reed, D.K. (2015). Enhancing basal vocabulary instruction in kindergarten. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 30, 43-50. doi: 10.1111/ldrp.12050

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