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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The BEST Resources for Core Vocabulary

There is a lot of research, information and resources out there around core vocabulary. Since I started implementing core vocab in my classroom two years ago, I've spent countless hours reading websites and looking for materials. I want to share some of my favorite FREE core vocab resources and finds. I'm highlighting resources that have a LOT of information and freebies alll in one location.

-DLM Core Vocabulary:
If you're just starting off with core vocabulary, I would suggest checking out the University of North Carolina's DLM Core Vocabulary page. From this page, you can find this great presentation (Journey to the Core: Developing a Core Vocabulary for the Common Core) that clearly describes what core vocab is, core word lists, another presentation (Teacher Core Vocabulary Words & Symbols to Students with Complex Communication Needs) that explains the characteristics of core vocab, the importance of teaching it and strategies for teaching core vocab. This Project Core website has a bunch of free core overlays in a variety of sizes.

-Dynavox Core Word Lessons
This 100 page Core Word Lesson from Dynavox is full of lessons and activities ideas around core vocab. It includes lessons for a ton of core vocab words including: go, want, more, like, not, I, it, is, can, more, stop, you, and do! The document includes plans for 5 days for each word, supplemental activities, extension activities, game ideas, internet based activities, paper-based activities, role play activities, science/social studies ideas and SO much more!

Here are a few examples of my favorite fun ideas from the document that are for the word "go."
  • Doing a treasure word hunt around the classroom to find the word "go" on books, on bulletin boards or around the hallways.
  • Putting the word "go" on stickies around the room and having kids "go" on a safari to find the word around the classroom
  • Having a dance party and having kids "go" (or dance) when the music starts and freeze when the music is turned off
  • Playing musical chairs and using the "go" language
  • Stop/ "Go" (AKA red light/ green light)
  • Creating online pin boards for "go" like places the student would go and things that go
  • using a mapping website that shows street level and having kiddos tell you where to go

The previous resource led me to the MyTobiiDynavox website that is seriously GOLD! Not only does it have lesson and activity ideas, but it has a ton of FREE core vocab books!

Source for books
Click here to make a free account. After you make an account and sign in, click the "community" tab (at the top), then "resources". The resource page then has a ton of options, but my favorite is the "core first" section. If you click on the "core first" tab, you can download free lesson plans and books for 36 core vocab words!!

AssistiveWare Core Word Classroom: 
For this awesome resource, you will also have to start by creating a free account (trust me, it's worth it!). Once you created an account and are logged in, you can then use the search area to simply search for a core word you're looking for. Once you search a word, my favorite resource is anything that says "core word of the week." If you click on any search result that has"core word of the week" in it, you will be taken to a page with videos explaining a variety of ways to teach the word, lesson plans, activity ideas, and printable core boards!

These websites have helped me plan my core vocab instruction during circle time for the entire school year! What are you favorite core vocabulary resources?


  1. I do work for Tobii Dynavox but wanted to share that we have a FREE app called Pathways for Core First which includes the books and lesson plans you mentioned that are on myTobiiDynavox, but it also has lesson plans and materials for other language, behavior and social goals! It's free on the iTunes store or in the Microsoft Store!

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