In this workshop, participants will examine best practices for direct vocabulary instruction in order to build the breadth and depth of students? vocabulary for both comprehension and written expression in grades three through five. Participants will learn the importance of creating a word-conscious learning environment that encourages motivation and interest in learning new words. Participants will learn how to model and encourage independent word-learning strategies that students can apply while engaging in wide and varied reading. They will also explore the value of instructing students to infer the meaning of words from context and word parts. For their final project, participants will incorporate components of a balanced vocabulary program by designing a vocabulary lesson based on a classroom text, either fiction or non-fiction.