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By Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown and Linda Kucan

Published by The Guildford Press 2013

First published 2002

ISBN: 9781462508167



Pie says:
"This is the best book on vocabulary teaching around as it provides the background research as well as practical activities, ideal for teaching younger and older pupils in primary schools. Every primary should own a copy and be developing the core practices in all lessons. Vocabulary is directly linked to educational success and this book, used thoughtfully, is essential.


Hundreds of thousands of teachers have used Bringing Words to Life, a highly practical guide, to help students enlarge their vocabulary and get involved in noticing, understanding, and using new words. Grounded in research, the book explains how to select words for instruction, introduce their meanings, and create engaging learning activities that promote both word knowledge and reading comprehension. The authors are trusted experts who draw on extensive experience in diverse classrooms and schools. Sample lessons and vignettes, children's literature suggestions, end-of-chapter summaries, and "Your Turn" learning activities enhance the book's utility as a classroom resource, professional development tool, or course text.


New to this edition:

  • Reflects over a decade of advances in research-based vocabulary instruction
  • Chapters on vocabulary and writing; assessment; and differentiating instruction for struggling readers and English language learners, including coverage of response to intervention (RTI)
  • Expanded discussions of content-area vocabulary and multiple-meaning words
  • Many additional examples showing what robust instruction looks like in action
  • Appendix with a useful menu of instructional activities


"One of the best and most influential books ever published on the topic of teaching and developing vocabulary. The second edition is even better than the first - it addresses recent issues such as the Common Core and RTI... Should be required reading for anyone seeking teacher or reading specialist certification."

John Pikuski, PhD, Department of Educational Development (Emeritus), University of Delaware


"The authors' research-based insights and advice about selecting words ans systematically presenting them to learners from all backgrounds are both practical and manageable. Teachers will delight in nurturing a language-rich classroom where students revel in language, read better and deeper, speak effectively, and write with purpose and clarity."

Mary Anne Rossbach, MEd, sixth-grade teacher, Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools

Bringing Words to Life