New Scholastic Professional Book Encourages Teaching Big Words to K-5 Readers

Langley Leverett  //  Apr 24, 2024

New Scholastic Professional Book Encourages Teaching Big Words to K-5 Readers

A Professor in Literacy at Virginia Tech’s School of Education, Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer has seen the benefits of students learning to decode "big words," words with multiple syllables (sound units) and morphemes (meaning units), from an early age. In her new book, Big Words for Young Readers (Scholastic 2024), shares evidence-based techniques and strategies for K-5 educators to help students learn how to decode. 

Dr. Mesmer shows how teachers and students can adopt a “big-words” mindset – one that will drive curiosity, develop language skills, and build long-term reading confidence. With helpful research nuggets and a grade-appropriate focus, Mesmer offers dozens of do-now strategies and hands-on activities that help students learn to tackle a wide range of multisyllabic words and multimorphemic words in their reading. Within the book, teachers will also find:

  • An easy-to-follow K-5 scope and sequence to make teaching systematic, explicit, and developmentally appropriate.

  • Instruction organized by grade range for easy navigation  

  • Skills alignment with any SOR-based curriculum or state standards

  • Helpful demonstration videos and downloadable teaching resources. 

D. Ray Reutzel, distinguished Senior Research Fellow, Utah State University Dean and Professor Emeritus, writes: "I dare say, there has never been an elementary teacher who has not experienced that deer-in-the-headlights look students give when they encounter their first few big words. And now, thanks to Dr. Mesmer, there is finally a book to help them. It’s a ready-to-use compendium of relevant research-based, and practical guidance on teaching young readers to decode and understand big words. Dr. Mesmer writes in an accessible style – this is not a book that will sit on your shelf unused.”

To learn more about Big Words for Young Readers, click here, and be sure to follow @ScholasticEdu on X (formerly known as Twitter).