Structured Word Inquiry for Teaching Concepts and Vocabulary in Secondary Subject Areas
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Structured Word Inquiry for Teaching Concepts and Vocabulary in Secondary Subject Areas
Presented by: Peter Bowers
Wednesday, February 08, 2023 | 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Tuesday, March 07, 2023 | 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Session Location:
Virtual Online, Any location, AB GET DIRECTIONS
About the Session:


Participants will be provided the previously recorded sessions from the 2022 program year where Peter Bowers draws on topics in two model lessons with junior high students and models how to use lessons from the book to support vocabulary learning.  

Please view these recordings prior to attending the live learning opportunity.

Session 1

This session targets deepening understanding of “word families” for vocabulary instruction. We will study the difference between morphological families (words that share a base in the same matrix) and etymological families (words that share a historical root). Bowers will help teachers learn how to read etymological references like Etymonline in order to identify related words and how etymological relatives link to morphological relatives. This session is particularly valuable for teachers seeking ways to introduce children to the increasingly demanding vocabulary in any subject area. Participants will learn ways to do short little investigations into etymology to support vocabulary learning without having to do major investigations with matrices and word sums every time a word comes up for study. At the same time, teachers will learn how to do deeper morphological investigations when and if they choose

Session 2 

This session will be driven by the interests of participants who have been working with SWI including having studied in one or both of the previous sessions. Ideally teachers will have begun to work with students  using the ideas from the previous sessions and will come to this session prepared with  questions and topics they are most interested in addressing

About the Presenter(s):
Peter Bowers

Pete Bowers, Ph.D., is a teacher, researcher, author, and founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre. Pete taught Grades 3-6 for 10 years before earning his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. His research and practical work with schools and educational groups has been pivotal in transforming how teachers, tutors and students around the world understand English spelling. Instead of putting up with a frustrating system full of exceptions, the structured word inquiry (SWI) community understands that investigating the spelling-meaning connections in words is not only rich literacy instruction -- it is a rich context for leveraging learning about any subject. His teacher resource book, Teaching How the Written Word Works expands on the lessons of his vocabulary intervention (Bowers & Kirby, 2010) which found generative vocabulary learning for the experimental group, and introduced the term “structured word inquiry.” His workshops have taken him to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and North America.

Catering is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment.
Photography Release:
This is a public event with the likeliness of photo/video throughout the day. By attending, participants understand they may be captured in photo or video for future presentations or promotional material development. Please see conference hosts if you prefer to not be photographed.

Registration Fee:



Administrator/Administration, Curriculum Leaders/Leadeur de programme, Educational Assistant/Assistant en éducation, Learning Coaches/Accompagnateur pédagogique, Teachers/Enseignant

Grade Level:

7-12/7 à 12

Registration Notes:

Participants are required to complete the OnDemand Learning Opportunity prior to attending this session. Please register at: and view these recordings prior to attending the live learning opportunity.

Purchase of the book is optional and can be selected during the registration.