Strategy #1 – The Frayer Model

Hello WNY! This is local educator Jay Hall and this is “Two Minutes of Teaching.”

A few parents have contacted me to ask about vocabulary. It appears that some of my friends out there are getting bored with the old flash card or “write the word and definition ten times” approach to learning vocabulary. I agree. That stuff is boring. So, today we will cover an easy to set up, creative, engaging, and highly effective vocabulary strategy known as the Frayer Model.

My students really like this strategy. Moreover, all my awesome teacher friends also love it and use it routinely in their classrooms. I’ve been teaching and learning with the Frayer Model for over ten years and it has truly become my favorite vocabulary acquisition strategy. It’s the perfect tool for you to use at home while teaching your children vocabulary.

Watch me teach this strategy or follow the step by step directions below. And, If you still have questions about teaching this strategy, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Good luck!

Let’s get started.



For this strategy you will need:
-a vocabulary word list
-a few blank sheets of paper
-different colored pens, pencils or thin tipped markers
-one ruler

Step #1:
Make a blank Frayer Model template by drawing an elongated oval in the center of the blank piece of paper. Use the ruler to draw four lines coming from the oval, going to the edge of the page to create four sections. WOW! That’s it! Your student is ready to fly with the Frayer Model.

Step #2
Choose a vocabulary word and ask your student to write the chosen word very clearly in dark marker or pen in the middle of the oval. All set? Let’s move on.

Step #3
We are now going to work clockwise from the top left box. Ask your student to use a printed or online dictionary to look up the definition for the chosen vocabulary word. Be careful! Some words have multiple definitions so, if needed, be sure to help your child choose the definition that best fits the word and how it is being used in his or her class.

Now that you have found the accurate definition, ask your student to neatly write the definition in the upper left box.

Step # 4
Now that your student knows the correct definition of the word, ask him or her to write it in a sentence of their own in the upper right box.

Step #5
Remember that synonyms are words that mean the same as the vocabulary word. And, antonyms are words that mean the opposite of the vocabulary word. Ask your student to write synonyms and antonyms for the chosen vocabulary word in the box on the lower right.

Step #6:
Now it’s time to get creative! Let’s go right brainers! Ask your student to draw a sketch or symbol that represents the chosen vocabulary word in the lower left, last blank box. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a work of art! Stick figures and basic sketches are perfect too!

Step #7
Ask your student to present their completed Frayer Model graph to you, online to their teacher, or other members of the family. You can even take it a step further and tape them on a wall so your student will be able to study them every day.

The Frayer Model works great when learning unfamiliar academic terms.

Use it often. Good luck!

We will see you next time on “Two Minutes of Teaching with Mr. Hall” when we introduce another great vocabulary strategy!

Keep reading. Keep writing. And, most importantly, be safe WNY.

All the best,

Jay Hall

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