Robert J. Marzano, Ph.D, recommends a Six-Step Process in Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement, (2004)

1. The teacher provides a description, explanation, or example of the new term.
2. Students restate the explanation of the new term in their own words.
3. Students create a nonlinguistic representation of the term.
4. Students periodically engage in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the vocabulary term.
5. Periodically, students are asked to discuss terms with one another.
6. Periodically, students are involved in games that allow them to play with the terms.
Six Step Organizer
Strategies for the 6 step process
Strategies for the 6 step process
More ideas for the 6 step process
Marzano Vocabulary
Marzano Powerpoint on teaching vocabulary
Marzano Cooperative Learning Activity - Inside/Outside Circles