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Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Attributes
Ages: 6-8   Grades: 1-3

Teach children to describe things in new ways and enrich their oral and written language skills.  Appealing one-page lessons with simple language demands are perfect for children with language-learning disorders.       


  • Understand and use describing words
  • Recognize and use specific strategies to understand and use an increasingly rich vocabulary
  • Expand working vocabulary and curricular vocabulary
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The activity pages have lots of visual supports.  Lesson formats vary and consist of tasks like circling pictured items, matching pictured and written items, formulating one-word written answers, and lively games.  Vocabulary is taken from graded vocabulary lists and is familiar to most students.  A pretest/posttest makes it easy to measure instruction results. 

Children learn to:     

  • describe what things look, feel like, taste like, sound like, or smell like
  • use actions, functions, or parts to describe things
  • exclude words that are not logical attributes of things
  • describe things

You may purchase Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Attributes individually or as part of the 6-book Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 set.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Antonyms

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Associations

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Attributes

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Categories

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Concepts

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Synonyms


Copyright © 2005

40 pages, pretest/posttest, answer key
  • Effective vocabulary instruction strategies actively engage the student and require higher-level cognitive processing.  These strategies include using new words in novel sentences based on connections to prior knowledge, identifying synonyms and antonyms, analyzing word features, and using visual aids (Kester-Phillips, Foote, & Harper, 2008).
  • Children require strategic instruction to access the curriculum to the best of their abilities.  Instruction in key language areas helps children become effective students (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • Vocabulary skills correlate with academic success and literacy attainment (NICHD, 2000).
  • A systematic approach to teaching vocabulary, including direct and indirect instruction, teaches students that vocabulary is important for learning language and for reading (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Attributes incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.

Kester-Phillips, D.C., Foote, C.J., & Harper, L.J. (2008). Strategies for effective vocabulary instruction. Reading Improvement, 45, 62-68.

National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD). (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


Kate LaQuay, Carolyn LoGiudice


Kate LaQuay, J.D., became part of LinguiSystems' extended family more than 20 years ago when her mother, Carolyn LoGiudice, joined the company.  Now a mother herself, Kate has co-authored several LinguiSystems products, including U.S. History A Reading Comprehension Book, U.S. Government A Reading Comprehension Game, and Spotlight on Vocabulary Levels 1 and 2.  Previously, she practiced law for six years in Los Angeles.

Carolyn LoGiudice, M.S., CCC-SLP, was a speech-language clinician in school, clinic, and private settings before joining LinguiSystems in 1984.  She has co-authored many materials with LinguiSystems, including The WORD Test, No-Glamour Vocabulary Cards, The Test of Semantic Skills (TOSS-P and TOSS-I), and the All-Star Vocabulary game.


All students need to expand their working vocabularies.  Some students have a natural facility for language and semantic relationships, enabling them to enlarge their vocabulary almost effortlessly.  Simply reading, listening, and talking seem to boost these students' vocabulary skills.

Many other students need to exert conscious energy to understand and recall an increasingly diverse vocabulary.  Some of them are poor or reluctant readers.  Other students have limited exposure to a rich variety of spoken English.  Still others have language-learning disabilities, attention disorders or ineffective systems for storing and retrieving vocabulary.  All of these students can benefit from specific vocabulary exposure and instruction.  They can improve their vocabulary skills through conscious attention and guided learning.

The main goal of Spotlight on Vocabulary books is to help students recognize and use specific strategies to enrich their skills for understanding and using an increasingly rich vocabulary.  Attributes, Level 1 teaches students the many ways we use words to describe things.  These are the student objectives of this book:

  • to understand that we can use words to describe things in many different ways
  • to learn to describe what things look like, feel like, taste like, sound like, or smell like
  • to use actions, functions, or parts to describe things
  • to exclude words that are not logical attributes of things
  • to describe things

Here are some guidelines for doing the activities in this book with your students:

  • Have your students take the Pretest/Posttest before they begin doing the activities in this book.  When they have completed the book, have them retake the test and compare the results to their original scores.
  • Use each word in a sentence as you present it to your students.  Then ask a student to use it in another sentence.
  • Make sure your students have ready access to a student-friendly dictionary and thesaurus.  Encourage your students to consult these references while they're doing the activities.
  • Use an opaque bag or box to hide a few objects.  Have your students take turns feeling and describing a mystery object from the bag/box for the other students to guess.  Then display the object and help your students write all the ways to describe the object, including what it does/how we use it, what it looks like, what parts it has, where you find it, etc.
  • Give your students lots of practice both in identifying things from descriptions and in describing things themselves.  Be a good role model yourself by giving clear descriptions of things as you present various lessons and activities to your students.
  • Use pictures of objects to play 20 Questions with your students.  Each question should target an attribute ("a way to describe something") in a yes/no format, such as Does it have wings? or Do we eat it?
  • Cut out ads from magazines or newspapers.  Have your students work in small groups to identify describing words and phrases.  Have them explain these atrributes to the class.
  • Have your students create want ads for a new teacher, a new student, or their favorite games.  These want ads should feature lists of the desired attributes, such as Knows what students like to do or Tells great jokes.

We hope Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 1 Attributes is a big hit with you and your students!

Kate and Carolyn