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Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Multiple-Meaning Words
Ages: 9-13   Grades: 4-8

Increase vocabulary flexibility!  Students learn to use a myriad of multiple-meaning words in a variety of contexts.      


  • Increase flexibility in vocabulary and thinking
  • Understand and use multiple meanings for words
  • Understand puns and their use in humor
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** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

Written in the successful format of the Spotlight series, the book has:

  • age-appropriate, curricular vocabulary
  • gradual progression in difficulty to build student success
  • light demands for spelling and writing
  • a pretest/posttest

One-page lessons in a variety of interesting formats, teach students:     

  • multiple-meaning words can be the same or different parts of speech
  • to match different meanings with the same word
  • to identify and use multiple-meaning words
  • to identify possible meanings of a message

You may purchase Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Multiple-Meaning Words individually or as part of the 6-book Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 set.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Antonyms

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Associations

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Multiple-Meaning Words

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Roots, Prefixes and Suffixes

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Synonyms

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Word Origins


Copyright © 2005

40 pages, pretest/posttest, answer key
  • In a longitudinal study of children from grade 1 through grade 6, the best predictor of reading comprehension was vocabulary knowledge, more so than decoding skills or listening comprehension (Verhoeven & Van Leeuwe, 2008).
  • A systematic approach to teaching vocabulary, including direct and indirect instruction, teaches students that vocabulary is important for learning language and reading (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
  • In recent research, Fisher and Blachowicz (2005) found semantic connections among words, including instruction on synonyms, antonyms, and word classes, beneficial for significant gains in vocabulary development among struggling elementary readers and English-language-learners.
  • Vocabulary instruction is a cornerstone of reading comprehension.  Repeated exposures to words expand students' vocabulary and improve scores on standardized tests (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986).

Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Multiple-Meaning Words 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. Solving problems in the teaching of literacy. New York: Guilford Press.

Fisher, P.J., & Blachowicz, C.L.Z. (2005). Vocabulary instruction in a remedial setting. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 21, 281-300.

Stahl, S.A., & Fairbanks, M.M. (1986). The effects of vocabulary instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 56, 71-110.

Verhoeven, L., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2008). Prediction of the developmental reading comprehension: A longitudinal study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 407-423.


Carolyn LoGiudice, Kate LaQuay


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.

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.


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.  Multiple-Meaning Words teaches students that many words have more than one meaning that is not always the same part of speech.  These are the student objectives of this book:

  • to understand that a multiple-meaning word has more than one meaning
  • to recognize that multiple-meaning words can be the same or different parts of speech
  • to match different meanings with the same word
  • to identify and use multiple meanings for words

Recognizing and using more than one meaning for the same word demonstrates not only richness of the quantity and quality of someone's vocabulary but also the flexibility of that vocabulary.  Some students have no difficulty recalling one meaning for a word, but cannot identify other meanings without prompting or further information.  Such difficulty may be due to a limited vocabulary, wordfinding difficulties or rigid thinking.

Quick recall of multiple meanings for words enables us to appreciate puns and other common forms of humor.  It also helps us to think about why we might have misheard or misunderstood what someone just said.  Below 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.
  • Before presenting a worksheet, write a few of the multiple-meaning words on the board or an overhead.  Next list all the meanings you and your students can think of for the word.  Ask your students to use each meaning in a complete sentence.  Then present the worksheet.
  • After your students complete a worksheet, ask them to think of additional meanings for any of the words used in the worksheet activity.
  • Divide your students into small groups.  Have each group review a textbook, a newspaper, or a magazine to look for words that have multiple meanings.  Ask each group to record the words it identifies and to list multiple meanings for each word it selects.
  • Play Charades (acting out clues without speaking) with single-word items and record players' guesses.  Once the word is identified correctly, review the guesses as a group.  Talk about other clues the person doing the charade could have used.  You can do this same activity with Pictionary (drawing clues without speaking) for variety.
  • Make a bulletin board of puns.  Talk about what makes each joke funny.  Then ask your students to write their own puns and illustrate them.  Sometimes news article headlines make good examples of possible plays on words, such as "Iraqi Head Seeks Arms."
  • Play a game to see how quickly your students can recall multiple definitions for words.  Give a word and time your students (one to three minutes) as they write as many different meanings as they can.  Accept using the word in an expression as a valid "meaning" for this activity, such as lick ice cream, salt lick, and lick of sense for lick.  Give one point for each different meaning. (Use your own judgment about how different the meanings need to be to earn points.  For example, lose my mind is similar to lose my thought, yet lose has a different connotation for each of these expressions.)
  • Feature a word with several meanings for a week.  Put a large sheet of paper on a bulletin board and have your students write as many meanings as they can for the word, including appropriate (inoffensive) slang expressions.

We hope Spotlight on Vocabulary Level 2 Multiple-Meaning Words is a big hit with you and your students!

Carolyn and Kate