Strategy 4: VOC Strategy (Corrections)

Student VOC Strategy
Level of Expertise: 3
What is the instructional strategy?
A vocabulary instructional strategy that I will use with my students for The American Revolution unit is the Student VOC Strategy. The Student VOC Strategy has predetermined terms from a reading that allows students to first identify their own familiarity with the words and concepts, define the word, and then redefine contextual words and then rewrite sentences using their own words. I will use this strategy in conjunction with the vocabulary terms from my unit: Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendment, Preamble, democracy, allegiance, reserved powers, implied powers, federalism, and checks and balances from page 151-153 of The American Journey textbook. When studying the Constitution, students must learn all parts that make up the constitution including the Bill of Rights, Amendments, Preamble, and the terms that help us understand how these documents work. The VOC Strategy will show my students the interrelatedness between the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments, Preamble and the terms used to interpret and describe these documents.

Why does the strategy work?
The Student VOC Strategy is beneficial to students because it allows students to use a variety of learning styles within one strategy. Students are going through many motions to remember the meaning of the word. Students must find the word in its contents, write the word, find the definition, create a meaningful way to remember the word, and orally discuss the words with a partner.  The strategy allows the students to have multiple exposures with the word. Students must consult an expert (teacher, fellow student) which pushes students to really consider the meaning of the words than rather just copy the definition from the textbook. Students are asked to consider the words before they read the text. The strategy allows for students to see the connectivity between the terms as a whole well as learn the more specific concepts such as how the Preamble and Constitution are related.
The VOC Strategy works to enhance student’s knowledge of selected vocabulary words in several ways. First, my students will be able to narrow in on the selected vocabulary from the text. The amount of vocabulary in the textbook can be overwhelming for my students. My students will then know which terms to focus on during the reading. Second, through repeated practice, students will need to interpret their own understanding of the word by using the expert’s definition to reproduce their own sentence that shows they know the correct meaning of the word. Third, many of my students struggle with writing and will enjoy and benefit from being able to create a visual representation of the terms. When my students will share out some of their VOC worksheets, they will learn from others work and hopefully remember the images their peers created as a way of remembering key concepts from this section of the chapter.
How does it work?
  1. First I will assign the students with a passage of a reading (pages 151-153 in the textbook) with key vocabulary terms (Constitution, Bill of Rights,  Amendment, Preamble, Democracy, Allegiance, Reserved Powers, Implied Powers, Federalism, and Checks and Balances) that students will need to locate and identify before, during, and after reading. Students will complete this worksheet during class and for homework.
  2. Prior to reading, students will activate background knowledge from the prior class on the Constitution and write the meaning of the constitution.
  3. Before reading, Students will identify terms on the vocabulary list that they are unfamiliar with.
  4. During reading, students will then write down the meaning of the words as found within the textbook.
  5. During reading, students will find make a prediction as to what the vocabulary words mean.
  6. After reading, students will consult either an expert in the room or a dictionary or credible source to find and write the definition.
  7. Next, the student will write the word in a sentence of their own which I will use as an assessment to determine if the students truly have a good grasp on the meaning of the words.
  8. Students will sketch the meaning of each of the vocabulary words. 
  9. Students will be given an option of several activities to help them remember the main concept of the Constitution. Students will have several creative options to make such as drawing a picture, writing a song, etc.
  10. Finally, students will share out their own understanding of the word as well as the representation that they created to help them remember the meaning of the word.

What It Looks Like: 

* Students will be given a packet with enough VOC Strategy worksheets for all of the vocabulary terms listed below.

Name: ____________________________________ Date: ____________ Period: _______
Social Studies 7- VOC Strategy

Part A Directions: As you read the section on the Declaration of Independence in the textbook on pages 147-131, fill out a new Part A Student VOC Strategy sheet for each of the following words: Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendment, Preamble, Democracy, Allegiance, Reserved Powers, Implied Powers, Federalism, and Checks and Balances.   

       Vocabulary Word: ____________Constitution___________________________

Before Reading:

What I already know about the Constitution:

My Level of Familiarity with the vocabulary word (1= little knowledge, 5= expert):  1  2  3  4  5

During Reading:

  1. Write the sentence in which it appears in your textbook:



  1. Based upon how the word was used in your textbook, make a prediction of what it means:



After Reading:

  1. Consult an expert for the definition of the vocabulary word:

Expert’s name: __________________________________________________________

Expert’s definition: ________________________________________________________



4. Create your own sentence using the vocabulary word: __________________________



5. Sketch an image below to represent the vocabulary word listed above:

Part B Directions: Select an activity to help you remember the meaning of the Constitution (Once you select your activity, tell the teacher and she will supply you with the materials you will need.)

·          Draw a picture and label how the picture demonstrates the preamble
·          Create a rap song about the word preamble
·          Write a short story about the preamble and how it came to be
·          Create an art piece to represent the preamble
·          Create story board about the preamble

Appleby, J., & Brinkley, A. (2006). The American Journey. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe.

Billmeyer, R., & Barton, M.L.(1998). Teaching reading in the content areas: If not me than who? Alexandria, VA: McRel.