Conference Countdown
Orlando, Fla.
October 31 - November 2, 2014
  • membership
  • my account
  • help

    We are here to help!

    1703 North Beauregard Street
    Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
    Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
    Fax: 703-575-5400

    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday

    Local to the D.C. area, 703-578-9600, press 2

    Toll-free from U.S. and Canada, 1-800-933-ASCD (2723), press 2

    All other countries (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600, press 2

  • Log In
  • Forgot Password?


2014 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership

2014 ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership

October 31–November 2, 2014, Orlando, Fla.

Learn the secrets to great leadership practices, and get immediate and practical solutions that address your needs.



ASCD respects intellectual property rights and adheres to the laws governing them. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.

Policies and Requests

Translations Rights

Books in Translation

Premium Member Book (Aug 2004)

Log in to read this chapter.


Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement

by Robert J. Marzano

Table of Contents

Chapter 5. Six Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Chapter 4 focused on eight characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction. In this chapter we consider how to apply those eight characteristics in a program to enhance academic background knowledge.

Assuming that a comprehensive list of critical academic terms has been identified (chapters 6 and 7 deal with this issue), I recommend a six-step approach to direct vocabulary instruction. Regular classroom instruction provides the context for these steps. That is, mathematics teachers teach selected mathematics terms in mathematics class; science teachers teach science terms in science class. Although this is no different from what many teachers do now, what is different is that all teachers use the same six-step process. Additionally, the students record the terms in their academic notebooks—the same notebooks described in Chapter 3 as the repository for students' reflections during SSR. Those notebooks also have sections for subject matter vocabulary taught using the following six-step process.

Step 1: The Teacher Provides a Description, Explanation, or Example of the New Term


You must be an ASCD Premium member to view this content.

Log in.