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This unique approach to utilizing an A to Z taxonomy is designed to harvest, organize and develop students’ vocabularies to aid comprehension and composition for communication. The taxonomy is initiated even before resources of any type are introduced and/or referenced. At the beginning of a topic of study, the A-Z may serve to organize and collect any direct and/or related knowledge the students already have (prior knowledge) about the topic of study. This information, in the form of words or phrases, is recorded alphabetically to facilitate the addition of new material or, later in the study, the retrieval of information.

Note: You may notice references to the A-Z and Vocabulary strategy throughout this website, interwoven with and amongst all the strategies. The repetition is intentional and crucial. This is the only way—orally with teacher direction followed by writing— that a teacher can be sure students understand the meaning and use of the new vocabulary they encounter. This is how to insure the exposure and practice of the increased rigor now required by the standards.



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