Wish you had an easy way to improve student vocabulary? One approach that is effective is the Frayer Model. In my previous blog entry, Semantic Maps Made Easy, I shared word maps as a way to improve vocabulary. One of the close cousins of word maps is the Frayer Model or four-square model. It’s a graphic organizer that facilitates word analysis. Given its four-square look, it is easy to replicate with technology. Let’s explore how in this blog entry.
“The Frayer Model draws on a student’s prior knowledge. It assist students in building connections among new concepts. The Model creates a visual reference. Students are able to learn to compare attributes and examples” (adapted from source).
The Frayer Model works great for math vocabulary as well in this sixth grade example.
The Frayer Four-Square Model
The Frayer model puts the vocabulary term students need to learn in the center of the diagram. Students then consider and describe the word or concept. Per the Reading Educator, some of the ways include:
- Defining the term
- Describing its essential characteristics
- Providing examples of the term
- Offering non-examples of the term
- Listing subordinate, superordinate, and coordinate terms
In the early days of the Frayer Model, a graphic organizer was not used. Others adapted it and reduced the framework to five steps (source), shown in the organizer below.
As a result of this set format, they are easy to duplicate and prepare. In fact, several teachers have done that for us. Let’s see what these teachers have shared.
How to Use the Frayer Model
To use the Frayer Model with students, introduce them to the graphic organizer. Allow them to complete the graphic organizer on their own, in small groups, or large group. As the teacher, model the use of the four-square template with your students by using these four steps:
- Discuss key vocabulary before reading a text.
- Have students identify desired concepts in the text.
- Invite students to complete the chart for each key concept.
- Have student share what their takeaways are with the group (adapted from source).
The graphic organizer students make and add to in discussion can serve as a way to review ideas later.
Image Source: Twitter from @SizerSchool featuring Mrs. Hartenstein’s high school Academic Support class. For Halloween, students chose spooky words and made Frayer models with each.
The Four-Square Model in Google Slides
Need a quick way to share the model with your students? You can find several Frayer Model templates for Google Slides available for your use.
Example #1: Simple Template
I’m not sure who made this template available online, but it looks like an amazing one for older students. The author designed it for use for group members. You can make a copy of the template using this link. Although it comes with several copies of the slide with the Frayer Model, they are all identical.
Example #2: EduProtocols
Thanks to the Eduprotocols creators, this Google Slides document offers many templates. Each template focuses on a different aspect or use of the Frayer Model. Those aspects include, for example, description, compare/contrast, cause and effect, problem/solution, and others.
Example #3: Meredith Akers
As you might imagine, this model is easy to design. You can find examples in Apple’s Keynote presentation software, as well as PowerPoint. The Storyboard That folks also share a Frayer Model for use in their app, and making one in Buncee is a breeze. In fact, it gets easier to introduce multimedia elements into each of these formats. Give it a try. If you need inspiration from other teachers, explore this Twitter search.
Vocabulary Programs (d=0.63)
Vocabulary programs are one of the best surface learning strategies available and the Frayer Model is one of the evidence-based vocabulary programs you should use. The effect size of vocabulary programs strategy is (d=0.63). Compared to the hinge point of d=0.40, acceleration of student learning can take place because vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension have a strong relationship. Give them a try with these templates.