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Word Walk

Vocabulary Instruction for Young Children


  • Katrin L. Blarney,

  • Katherine A. Beauchat


Storybook reading offers an ideal context for teaching young children new words. Text Talk is one method designed for teaching elementary students new words after reading. However, using the Text Talk vocabulary procedures with young children, the authors observed several challenges both for teachers' implementation and children's learning. Therefore, the authors adapted and expanded the components of Text Talk to meet the specific needs of young children in a two-day repeated reading sequence called Word Walk. Word Walk combines research-based strategies in a before-, during-, and after-reading structure in order to teach one to two new vocabulary words. The Word Walk procedure is described along with a concrete example of teacher talk during classroom implementation. Word Walk provides the steps teachers can use to lead young children in a journey of learning new words in the context of storybook reading.