Research to indicates that teaching vocabulary words in context of storybook reading is worthwhile (Arnold, Lonigan, Whitehurst, & Epstein, 1994; Beck & McKeown, 2007; Hargrave & Senechal, 2000). The International Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1998) collaborated on a joint position statement that suggested reading aloud to children is the single most important activity during the preschool years for building several literacy skills, including vocabulary and language.

Working with preschool teachers, we adapted the components of explicit vocabulary instruction defined in Text Talk (Beck & McKeown, 2001) to meet the needs of preschool children in a two-day sequence we call Word Walk. Word Walk came about as we tried to use the steps of Text Talk (Beck & McKeown, 2001) with preschool children and noticed that some of the components were too challenging for most children on the first reading of a storybook.