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Vocabulary Frames

Matching words with functions


When learning a new language, identifying nouns is often an early step. Being able to describe the noun or its function, however, may take students more time to accomplish. When learning content knowledge, students who are English learners are often asked to do these two things simultaneously. In order to support this challenge, one strategy – vocabulary frames – provides a scaffolded approach to connecting these two pieces in an accessible and applicable way. This strategy is designed to link their lexical skills to syntax and meaning so that students who are English learners are not being asked to only memorize words – but instead are prompted to apply them in concrete and differentiated ways.

Student Does

  • Identifies nouns and matches them to functions
  • Completes vocabulary framing and sentence stem tasks

Teacher Does

  • Offers multiple sentence stems for students to build out vocabulary frames
  • Differentiates the sentence stem to support students at their appropriate level
  • Shares an example of a completed vocabulary frame to model the process