I'm very fortunate to be in a school system where professional development is huge! We receive a lot of new training on many different aspects of curriculum. One of the training sessions we were required to attend was Literacy Across the Curriculum. During this training we focused on ways to improve vocabulary in classrooms ranging from K-12. I thought it was very cool that you could use this strategy for all ages of students and it would still have the desired outcome. This strategy is called K.I.M.S. it stands for Key Word, Information (definitions), Memory Clue (a picture), and Statement (using the vocabulary word in a sentence).
Since learning about this strategy I've used it a lot in my Title I classes. Since I work with struggling readers this is a great way to get them to recognize and learn unfamiliar words in a fun way! Before I explain exactly how we use it, let me show you an example of one that we created, whole group, during a since lesson on pollution.
When you first begin using this strategy I suggest doing it on chart paper with 2 K.I.M. boxes drawn. I always put the blank template on top, so the students can remember what goes into each box, and then complete an example on the bottom as a whole group.
To begin, you introduce the vocabulary word and add it to the Key Word section. I then do the Information box; while completing this box I always have the students put the definition into their own words and use what they say as the text. Next we move on to the Memory Clue box. In this area you draw a picture that will help you remember the definition of the vocabulary word. I then like to complete the Statement box buy creating a sentence that goes along with our memory clue.
After doing a few examples I allow the students to complete them on their own. Sometimes I have them work in groups and sometimes I have them work independently. Buy this point in the year my students can do a K.I.M with no help at all. They actually LOVE doing this assignment because they think it's not really working since they get to draw and they can be creative with their statements. Seems that I left my other memory card at school; I will get the student examples posted on Monday =(
To help you all get started using this strategy I created a document that you can print for your students to start learning how to complete the K.I.M. charts. Just click on the picture below to download the document!