Monday, October 17, 2016


Your KTL coaches are excited about sharing strategies, information, and ideas with you as we begin year 2 of KTL Comprehension Routine! Here is the first of many blogposts that we hope help you as you work through embedding KTL Comprehension into your curriculum.
Thanks for taking the time to read,
Your KTL Coaches

Vocabulary as the Catalyst for Main Idea

Using student selected vocabulary as the foundation for identifying main idea categories makes learning more cohesive.  As students reflect on “how well” they know the vocabulary, they can then make associations to other words to expand their comprehension.

The examples below are from grade 6 reading classes. The vocabulary was identified by students as they read the text as words they want to learn more about. (Ah-the power of choice!)

Process:  Be prepared to get unorganized before you are organized!
1) Collect vocabulary from students. Either whole class on the board, small groups on categorizing template, or individually (after modeling I-We-You)

2)Identify words that have something in common.  CODE THESE WORDS- by color or shape etc.  Students are typically eager to find connections just make sure their theories hold true.

3)Create a label for this category.

4) Discuss with students how the categories fit into the bigger picture of the text.  Ask how the vocabulary and main ideas fit into the story as a whole or independent piece.


Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Category: BULLIEDIMG_0273.JPG
Words in that category: clobbered, involuntary, indignation, sorehead

Words in that category: ominously, menacingly, truancy, surveillance, merciless

Words that fit into that category: accommodate, incentive, refrained, seldom

Main idea of story includes a  student who is getting bullied, and the helpful decisions he makes about it. Meanwhile, there is a second storyline that include crime and vandalism. IMG_0257.JPG


Holes by Louis Sachar   
Category: Verbs
Words in category: recede, wobbled, twitching, carted, formed, refuge  

Category: Things that have to do with our hands.
Words in category: thumb, finger, twitching, scratchy, arthritis

Category: Mysteriously Unusual Things
Words in that category: gypsy, grotesque, extraordinary

Category: Things Needed for Survival
Words in that category: refuge, canteen, carted


Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Category: Unreliable
Words in Category: tremulous, incompetent, impervious, subdued, dispersed, provoke

Category: Restrictions
Words in Category:  tether, cordon, vengeful, adhesive, mylar, subdued, lesion

Category: Aggressive
Words in category: pugnacious, vengeful, augmented

Alternate Activities for Vocabulary Sorts

  1. Give students the theme or category you would like to embrace and have them find vocabulary words that fit into it.
  2. Select a specific section of text that you know has vocabulary that describe a specific character and identify character traits.  
  3. Assign the task of finding vocabulary that specifically describes the setting,  problem, or solution etc.  (You may also assign a section of text for this.)
  4. Give students the vocabulary words you think are essential and let them sort into categories based on main ideas.

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