The Vocabulary Tree is a graphic organizer which can be useful in helping students build vocabulary. Students are able to make connections and identify relationships between vocabulary words in the lesson through the use of this strategy. Students are able to expand on the single idea or term and create visual connections that will help them see how the many concepts or vocabulary words in a text are related.
The Vocabulary Tree is made up of a trunk, roots, branches, and leaves. The trunk holds the main concept or key term, and the branches include related terms, ideas, or examples. The leaves of the tree are used for the definitions of the terms or ideas listed in the branches. Finally, the roots of the tree are reserved for the definition or Latin root of the key term.
Students may complete a Vocabulary Tree individually, in pairs, in small groups, or even as a whole class. The Vocabulary Tree strategy is helpful for students to visualize vocabulary terms and how they relate to other terms or concepts in the text.
(Above) This is an example of a vocabulary tree focusing on the evolution of the English language.
(Above) This example shows the strategy applied to a mathematical situation.