List-group-label is a form of semantic mapping. The strategy encourages students to improve their vocabulary and categorization skills and learn to organize concepts. Categorizing listed words, through grouping and labeling, helps students organize new concepts in relation to previously learned concepts.
|When to use:||Before reading||During reading||After reading|
|How to use:||Individually||With small groups||Whole class setting|
More vocabulary strategies
Why use list-group-label?
- It helps students organize their understanding of specific vocabulary and concepts.
- It builds on students' prior knowledge about a topic.
- It actively engages students in learning new vocabulary and content by activating their critical thinking skills.
- It teaches categorizing and labeling skills.
How to use list-group-label
- Select a main concept in a reading selection.
- List: Have students brainstorm all the words they think relate to the topic.
- Visually display student responses.
- At this point do not critique student responses. Some words may not reflect the main concept, but hopefully students will realize this as they begin grouping the words in the next step.
- Group: Divide your class into small groups. Each group will work to cluster the class list of words into subcategories. As groups of words emerge, challenge your students to explain their reasoning for placing words together or discarding them.
- Label: Invite students to suggest a title or label for the groups of words they have formed. These labels should relate to their reasoning for the grouping.
Go inside Cathy Doyle's second grade classroom in Evanston, Illinois to observe her students learning the list-group-label strategy. Cathy builds the lesson around the concept of gardening, based on a recent classroom read-aloud, The Gardener. Joanne Meier, our research director, introduces the strategy and highlights the vocabulary and comprehension skills that list-group-label supports.
for second language learners, students of varying reading skill, and younger learners
- Ask students to return to their lists as they read through the text related to the major concept they brainstormed about. They may find they should add words from their reading or re-label the groups of words they created.
- Encourage students to discuss lists with others outside their initial small group.
- Have students write the lists or type them using a word processing program.
- Provide students with pre-established categories to use to group words.
- Create graphical representations of words in order to help students connect to prior knowledge.
- Ask students to create their own drawings to accompany the words.
See the research that supports this strategy
Lenski, S. D., Wham, M. A., & Johns, J. L. (1999). Reading and learning strategies for middle and high school students. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.
Taba, H. (1967).Teacher's handbook for elementary social studies. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Tierney, R.J., & Readence, J.E. (2000). Reading strategies and practices: A compendium (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Children's books to use with this strategy
Face to Face with Polar Bears
Norbert Rising finds himself in dangerous situations in the Arctic as he studies polar bears. This book connects children with the consequences of global warming, and gives practical advice on how to help save our white-furred friends.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Why did the chicken cross the road? He could be running from approaching zombie chickens or just joining a bunch of buddies for a picnic. Different illustrators use various techniques to provide a (mostly) visual answer to the time-worn question with lots of laughs along the way!
On Beyond Zebra
Readers will delight in the playfulness of this word romp as they venture beyond the letter Z. Inventive letters and creatures are introduced in this funny, rhyming, alphabetic adventure in typical Seussian style.