Tier 2 Vocabulary for K-6

By Christopher Such Last updated 2024/05/27
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Tier 2 vocabulary words are words that are useful and necessary across different content areas or domains, but that may not be frequently used in oral language. Christopher Such, author of The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading, has assembled a list of Tier 2 vocabulary words for explicit instruction.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing
This resource supports the teaching and learning of Tier 2 vocabulary words, an element of B2.
Grade(s): K 1 2 3 4 5 6
Topic(s): Vocabulary


  1. A great starting point for recognizing what the tier 2 words are. This makes it easier to spot them when previewing read alouds, text books, etc. I think it’s important that the tier 2 vocabulary words are not thought of as merely a list of words to teach, but the words to look out for and to pull out of the texts kids are reading so the words are also taught in a meaningful way within the context of the texts they are hearing and reading. Another great way to build vobaculary is to use these tier 2 words in our everyday conversations, routines and instruction with students e.g., “Come to the back table to acquire your materials and then proceed to your seat.”

  2. I have come to realize that many educators don’t know where to start in terms of deciding upon Tier 2 words to use with primary students. Much of this is professional judgment- however this article provides 345 great examples to consider! Thank you for sharing.

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