112 Integrating vocabulary tiers in the FCS classroom

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, we’re talking about how a Family & Consumer Sciences teacher can effectively integrate vocabulary tiers and research-supported strategies into your classroom instruction.

Episode Notes

To start off, I am going to give you a brief overview of what vocabulary tiers are and why they’re important in the Family and Consumers Sciences classroom.

  • Tier 1 words are the most common words used in everyday conversations.  They are words that students are likely to already know, such as “house”, “food”, and “clothing.”
  • Tier 2 words are less common words that students may encounter in academic settings. These are words like “nutrition”, “Sustainable”, and “conservation.”
  • Tier 3 words are the most specialized words used in specific career fields, such as “dietetics”,  “textile”, and  “interior design.”

Again, vocabulary tiers refer to different levels of words, with tier 1 words being the most common and basic, while tier 3 words are the most complex and specific.

So, why is it important to understand these tiers? By understanding the different types of vocabulary words, teachers can better select the words they want to focus on teaching, and in turn, help their students build a stronger vocabulary. Now let’s talk about some strategies for teaching vocabulary in your FCS classes. There are several strategies that teachers can use effectively integrate vocabulary tiers into your instruction.

  1. One of the most effective strategies is to provide students with context. When students understand the context in which a word is used, they are more likely to remember it and be able to use it in their own writing and speaking.  For example, teachers can use repeated exposure to the words in context through reading, writing, and speaking activities.
  2. Another strategy is to encourage students to use new vocabulary words in their own writing. For example, you could have students write a journal entry using as many Tier 2 words as they can, or have them write a story using both Tier 1 and Tier 2 words. Teachers can assess students’ understanding of vocabulary through formative and summative assessments.
  3. Finally, using visual aids, such as flashcards, posters, and graphic organizers, can help students better understand and retain new vocabulary words. This is where students are provided with explicit vocabulary instruction by using direct teaching methods, such as defining and explaining words, using real-life examples, and creating visual aids.

As Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, you can integrate these strategies by incorporating hands-on activities and projects that allow students to use the words in context. For example, teachers can have students use semantic mapping to connect new cooking terms in their existing knowledge of food preparation. Teachers can also use word sorts to help students categorize different cooking techniques and ingredients. Finally, teacher-led discussions can be used to help students engage in meaningful conversations about the different aspects of cooking and food preparation where students engage in dialogue about the words and their meanings, which is also a powerful vocabulary strategy.

So, those are just a few strategies for teaching vocabulary in the Family and Consumer Sciences classroom. By incorporating these strategies into your instructional practices, you’ll be helping your students build a stronger vocabulary and better prepare them for their future successes in their future careers.


• FCS Podcast: https://fcspodcast.com
• FCS Tips: https://www.fcstips.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConnectFCSed
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConnectFCSed
• Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/connectfcsed
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/connectfcsed 
• Tik Tok:  https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdhKwFKc/


April 12th, 2023

(Visited 100 times, 1 visits today)