Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science


Center for the Advancement of Education


Elementary Education, Language Arts, Middle Elementary, Students, Vocabulary


This practicum report focuses on an enrichment strategy designed and implemented by the author to increase the vocabulary of accelerated fourth grade students. There were two criteria to be met by members of the target selection. First, they had to excel in language arts as indicated by superior test scores on the county reading test. Secondly, each participant had language arts grades of excellent status as evaluated by the previous instructor. The aim of the strategy was to present similarities and dissimilarities of target words and affect positive changes in the students' performances and attitudes toward their creatively written expressions. The students scored less than a mastery level of 80% on a pretest designed to challenge their understanding of word meanings. They were offered access to junior editions of the dictionary and thesaurus but did not realize the functional properties of these informational sources. Included in the author's approach were teacher-made and commercially reproducible materials. Formal vocabulary instruction was presented daily with accompaniment of the dictionary and thesaurus. The students were given opportunities to visit the media center and to use the computer to write and record their compositions. The author made many laminated self-paced task cards designed to attract student interest. Superior abilities were challenged and levels of interest remained high. The thesaurus and dictionary have become commonly used since their introduction. The measureable success of the practicum was indicated by the range of 90% to 100% mastery of the target list of words. It is the author's conclusion that formal presentation and practice methods in semantic analysis are highly beneficial to accelerated students. (Appendices include: a teacher survey, a pretest,posttest, a student questionnaire, and pretest,posttest student scores.)

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