Vocabulary Comprehension in Middle School Social Studies

Faculty Sponsor

Selina Bartels


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


For years, vocabulary comprehension has been a struggle in k-12 school settings. When it comes to vocabulary in the classroom, students memorize key terms for a short period of time and do not store the meaning in their long term memory. However, this negatively impacts student performance throughout a given chapter. Data for this project will be collected and analyzed at Valparaiso Middle School. Students will go through a treatment process and take an initial vocabulary quiz to show which words students have the most trouble with. This data will be collected and recorded for future use. From there, instruction can be modified to focus on specific key terms and meanings. Throughout the duration of the chapter, students will complete exercises, including the use of technology, to help improve their overall skills and comprehension. Integrating technology into vocabulary teaching and comprehension has proven to have a positive influence, especially on middle school students. With this, students will have time to practice key terms with their peers and use vocabulary words in their assignments. At the end, students will take a final vocabulary quiz to examine if the use and meaning of key terms improved and they were able to comprehend vocabulary words.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I am a secondary education major with a focus in history. Through field observations, student teaching, and substitute teaching, I have noticed that students struggle with key words, specifically in the social studies classroom. It is my goal, as a future educator, to help students build a better understanding so that they are successful for the future.

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