What is Word Work?

Word Work can be tricky to plan and assess in the junior grades. In order to to understand what to teach, you need to understand WHY you teach it. Let's look at Word Work in depth.

What is Word Work?

Word Work is structure grammar and phonic lessons that help students to become better readers and writers. It is intentional, and sequential, and linked to other components of the comprehensive literacy model.

What do I do during Word Work?

I bring in my teacher directed Word Work lessons in my Shared Reading and Modelled Writing Lessons.

Modelled Writing is a daily 10-15 minute mini lesson where I model what good writing looks like. The first day of the week (Monday, or Tuesday if it is a holiday week), I will use this lesson to introduce the anchor chart of the Word Work focus of the week.  We will go over the anchor chart and examples as a class.

In Shared Reading, I provide students with a short text that they have access to. They can read it, either they have a copy, or it is projected for them to see.  Usually the second day of the week, I pull out examples of that Word Work within the text. For instance, if the Word Work focus is syllables, I will choose different vocabulary words from the text and we will look at how many syllables each word has.

What do students do during Word Work?

Throughout the course of the week, while I am working with my guided reading groups, students are working on Word Work tasks, (as well as Writer’s Workshop and Independent Reading).They have 3 Word Work tasks to complete and hand in at the end of the week.  The tasks include:
  • Visual Note on the Word Work focus of the week
  • Word Work Worksheet
  • Word Work Quiz
These tasks are a great way to ensure that students learn these concepts, keep them engaged throughout the week, and provide you with quick assessment check ins.

How does Word Work link to Shared Reading?

Shared Reading is a great way to show students how Word Work looks within a written text. Since the Shared Reading text is visible for both teachers and students, it is a great way to show them WHAT it looks like it a properly written text.  You, as the teacher, can bring attention to the Word Work within the text, and discuss it with the class. It is a great way to connect the good reading to good writing.

How does Word Work link to Writing?

In Modelled Writing, you as the teacher model how to use the word work skill within your writing. It is a great way to make that connection between what students are doing in word work to how it makes them a better writer.

Check out my Word Work program HERE! It will take the stress out of planning it!


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