Anchored Word Learning

Anchored Word Learning for Read AloudsAnchored Word Learning

Increasing vocabulary often has a direct and positive impact on increasing comprehension and achievement. Teaching words in context helps anchor and provide meaningful context for new words.

The “Anchoring Word Learning” strategy was developed by Beck & Associates and is intended for teachers to use during read alouds as an additional way to introduce words. They suggest simple steps to select three Tier 2 words (words that are “high utility” and students will frequently encounter in other settings) from each read aloud. If you read aloud once a day, you’ve introduced students to 540 additional words each year – twice a day and that’s 1,080 words!

3 Simple Prep Steps

  1. Identify 3 words in your read aloud (picture book/chapter book/novel/short story) and mark those words with a post-it.
  2. Directly teach meaning (see below)
  3. Add to Word Wall for review

Anchored Word Learning Steps

As you are reading, make note of each word and come back to the words following reading and follow these 4 steps.

  1. Teach the word in context
  2. Teach the spelling and sound
  3. Give the meaning of the word
  4. Provide extended examples using the word.

More explanation is included in the following downloadable handout!

Download Anchored Word Learning



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Kimberly has been a teacher, administrator, and literacy consultant who worked in districts across the country to improve student literacy achievement. She currently serves as an Educational Specialist with Solution Tree and project manager for large-scale PLC implementations. Her new book, Blended Vocabulary: Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools and Effective Instruction, was recently released in February, 2017.