The Core Vocabulary Project (CVP) Word Maps
We’re proud to introduce our newest TextProject resource—the CVP Word Maps! Freddy Hiebert (TextProject’s President & CEO) and colleagues (Hiebert, Goodwin, & Cervetti, 2017; Pugh & Hiebert, 2019) have used digital resources to establish that 2,500 families of words account for at least 90% of the total words in texts from Grades 1 through college. Freddy has labeled this group of words as the “Core Vocabulary.”
A frequent response to this finding is: “Please give me the list.” Lists of vocabulary have been many in the century since Thorndike (1917) published The Teachers’ Work Book. But no evidence has shown that moving students through a list results in a rich vocabulary. Only by connecting words semantically and morphologically do students expand their vocabularies.
The Core Vocabulary Project (CVP) aims to support students’ vocabularies through word maps of three kinds: semantic, word families, and multiple-meaning words. Each type of CVP Word maps represents a different form of the critical knowledge represented by the 2,500 word families.
THE THREE KINDS OF CVP WORD MAPS
Semantic maps: Semantic maps that connect central ideas are the foundation of the Core Vocabulary Project (CVP). Each key word that represents one of the 2,500 word families appears on a semantic map1.
Key words appear on semantic maps in the grade bands where they first appear. Many more key words appear early in written English, which means that there are more word maps for earlier grades (K-1, 2-3) than for later grades (4-5, Middle+). The same concept often appears across several grade levels but with different key words.
Word-family maps. On each semantic map, several words are marked with a purple star. The purple star indicates the availability of a word-family map. In phase one of the CVP, word- family maps are provided for key words that have numerous family members and illustrate types of word families in English.
Multiple-meaning-word maps. At least two words on each map are marked with a pink heart. The pink heart means that a multiple-meaning-word map is available for that word. Many words, especially common ones, have multiple meanings. In the phase one of the CVP, multiple-meaning-word maps are provided for words that have especially distinctive meanings.
1Words with multiple meanings may appear in more than one word set. Because the key words for a family represent the most frequent form of a word, tense and inflection of words may not be consistent. In some cases, words that are central to a semantic cluster but are not among the 2,500 word families have been included.
Here are the semantic maps. Word-family and multiple-meaning-word maps are accessed through the semantic map.