Mindful of Words

Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8

Kathy Ganske

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
June 3, 2008
ISBN 9781593858223
Price: $39.00 $33.15
338 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
October 15, 2013
Price: $39.00 $33.15
338 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $78.00 $42.90
338 Pages
Check out a special package offer including this title!
See related items for this product

Providing a wealth of tools to enhance upper-level spelling and vocabulary instruction, this engaging book features more than 120 reproducible sorting activities and games. It offers specific suggestions for helping students build mastery of vowel patterns, syllable structure, syllable stress, consonant and vowel alternations, compound words, prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. Also featured are "Did You Know?" sections with absorbing stories about specific words; tips from teachers at different grade levels; discussions of idioms; literature recommendations; and lists of vocabulary related to social studies, science, and math.

See also Ganske's Word Journeys, Second Edition: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction, which provides a comprehensive framework for assessing and building word knowledge, and Word Sorts and More, Second Edition: Sound, Pattern, and Meaning Explorations K–3, which presents word study activities for the primary grades.

Mindful of Words is an invaluable addition to the upper-grade teacher's resource shelf. It illuminates the intermediate teacher's role in providing meaningful, intellectually stimulating word study. I found the 'Teacher to Teacher' sections, which show exactly how teachers and principals have incorporated Ganske's suggestions in their classrooms and schools, to be extremely useful. I also loved the 'Did You Know' sections. I rediscovered information about words I had long forgotten or never knew. This book will help teachers make their own love of language contagious to kids!”

—Ellin Oliver Keene, MA, Director of Research and Development, Public Education and Business Coalition, Denver, Colorado

“Ganske has once again succeeded in providing classroom teachers with a valuable tool for differentiating instruction and meeting the instructional needs of individual learners. Upper-elementary and middle school teachers have been anxiously awaiting the kind of guidance and instructional support Ganske gives them for a systematic, developmental approach to word study. One of the many strengths of Ganske's approach is her attention to motivation; she appeals to students' curiosity and humor. I can't wait to share this essential resource with students in my teacher education classes and professional development workshops.”

—Deanna Birdyshaw, PhD, School of Education, University of Michigan

“Teachers in grades 4-8 who use the word study approach for spelling and vocabulary instruction will welcome this new resource. It will save hours of work in devising well-crafted lessons. What is especially appealing is the organization of the teacher support for each word sort. Many opportunities for differentiation of instruction are included, and vignettes from practitioners add useful techniques for the classroom. Using this book will help teachers go a long way in developing their students' appreciation for language.”

—Sondra R. Markman, EdM, K-8 curriculum supervisor, Warren Township School District, Warren, New Jersey

Mindful of Words is a comprehensive resource for the implementation of quality word study for students in the upper stages of spelling and word development. Literacy educators will benefit from this clear and concise guide that promotes students’ flexibility with words and their enthusiasm for the complexities of the English language. Ganske’s systematic approach to word study provides an integral component of the foundation on which proficient reading is built.”

—Robin Seeker, MA, literacy consultant, St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado

“Ganske has done it again, providing a resource that will allow for meaningful differentiated instruction in the area of word study in grades 4-8. In an era of reform that embraces research-based practices, this resource clearly guides teachers in putting theory into practice. Using this book will result in more engaging instruction that better prepares students to decode, compose, and comprehend sophisticated texts.”

—Michelle Huntress, MA, Reading Consultant, Storm Lake Community School District, Storm Lake, Iowa

Table of Contents

Part 1. Setting the Stage


The Context: What Is Word Study?

A Word about History

Teaching Considerations

Teacher to Teacher: Tips from Teachers for Teachers

Part 2. Word Study for Syllable Juncture Spellers

Introducing Compound Words

Inflectional Endings

Patterns across Syllables: Other Syllable Juncture Doubling

Vowel Patterns in Stressed Syllables

Unstressed Syllables

Consonant Extensions

Prefixes and Suffixes

Additional Sorts

Part 3. Word Study for Derivational Constancy Spellers

Revisiting Prefixes and Suffixes

Consonant Alternations

Vowel Alternations

A Further Look at Suffixes and Prefixes

Greek and Latin Word Elements

Appendix A. Homophone Rummy Answer Key: Sample Sentences

Appendix B. Understanding Prefixes

Appendix C. Applying Prefix Knowledge to Common Latin Roots

Appendix D. Blank Word Card Template

Appendix E. Sampling of 100+ Important Math Words

Appendix F. Sampling of 100+ Important Science Words

Appendix G. Sampling of 100+ Important Social Studies Words

Appendix H. Performance Records

About the Author

Kathy Ganske, PhD, is Research Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University. She has been involved in researching, using, refining, and teaching about word study practices since the 1990s. Dr. Ganske's work is grounded in extensive teaching experience in elementary classrooms. Her current research interests include vocabulary development during small-group word study instruction and literacy reform in challenging schools. Dr. Ganske is the author, coauthor, or editor of several books, including Word Journeys, Second Edition; Word Sorts and More, Second Edition; Mindful of Words; and Comprehension Across the Curriculum, as well as numerous articles and book chapters.


Teachers in grades 4–8, reading specialists, literacy coaches, and teacher educators.

Special package offer: Word Journeys: Second Edition: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary Instruction provides a comprehensive framework for assessing and building word knowledge. Word Sorts and More: Second Edition: Sound, Pattern, and Meaning Explorations K-3 and Mindful of Words: Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8 present a wealth of ready-to-use word study activities.

Order all 3 items — a $125.00 value for $84.95!

order package