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Empower

Grades 2-5 Comprehension and Vocabulary

Program Description 

Intended for students in Grades 2 to 5 who have difficulty acquiring reading comprehension skills, Empower™ Reading: Comprehension and Vocabulary is an integrated program that teaches students specific skills for acquiring vocabulary while concurrently introducing five reading comprehension strategies. During the vocabulary portion of the lessons, students learn how to construct meanings for unfamiliar words. The program’s WordWonder Web structures and supports a discussion of a word’s multiple meanings and usages, and how the word relates to other words and to personal experiences. Tier two words (words likely to appear frequently in text and in the written and oral language of mature language users; Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002), such as victory, resourceful, and feature, are the focus of all vocabulary instruction.

The text comprehension portion of the initial lessons of the program focuses on teaching students important preskills (e.g., text signals or features and text structures) that support comprehension. The five text comprehension strategies – predicting, activating prior knowledge, clarifying, evaluating through questioning, and summarizing (PACES) – teach students to actively think about what they are going to read and make connections with what they already know; to stop and clarify when comprehension has broken down; to monitor and evaluate their understanding; and to accurately summarize what they read.

The students gain experience in applying the skills and strategies learned in the program through daily reading of fiction or non-fiction texts. The goal of Empower™ Reading: Comprehension and Vocabulary is to have students become independent, active, fluent, and self-regulated readers able to understand a variety of text materials. 

The Empower Reading: Grades 2 to 5, Comprehension & Vocabulary kit includes all of the materials necessary to implement the program:

Instructional Materials 

  • Instructional manual 
    The instructional manual provides the teacher with the scripts and dialogue needed for each lesson of the program. Included are program goals, a scope and sequence, introductory and prototype lessons, consolidation activities and much more.

Student Materials 

  • Student workbook 
    The student workbook contains a variety of daily activities that support the acquisition and consolidation of all program content including all of the new vocabulary as well as the five comprehension strategies. Blackline masters of the worksheets are available on a DVD. 
  • Student reader 
    The student reader offers a selection of engaging short stories for the students to practice applying their skills and strategies. The stories include illustrations and have been carefully written to include ample opportunities for further vocabulary development and scaffolded use of the comprehension strategies.

Support Materials

  • Empower™ Reading Strategies poster 
    The Empower™ Reading Strategies poster is magnetic and lists the five comprehension strategies and the associated dialogue for each:  Predicting, Activating Prior Knowledge, Clarifying, Evaluating through Questioning, and Summarizing. 
  • WordWonder Web 
    This dry erase poster is used by the teacher and students as they together construct the meanings for unknown vocabulary words.  
  • Plot Graph and Text Structure posters  
    Two double-sided dry erase posters support students in their understanding of fiction texts and their structure (i.e., the plot graph) as well as three common text structures used in non-fiction texts (i.e., Compare and Contrast; Statement and Explanation; Sequence).   
  • Program posters 
    Program posters support the use of the strategies and skills taught in the program by providing students with quick access to the materials they need.