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WOW is available exclusively through Follett.


A Shared Book Reading Resource for Vocabulary
and Comprehension

Developed by Dr. Susan B. Neuman

About World of Words

World of Words (WOW) is a research-based, shared book reading resource for children at the preschool, kindergarten and first-grade levels. WOW builds children's vocabulary, understanding of key concepts related to new words and comprehension of conceptual big ideas with carefully constructed text sets of the best available fiction and nonfiction book titles.

What's inside?


Teacher and student toolsClick to enlarge

Teacher and student tools

Each set includes five texts representing rhyming and repetitive fiction, narrative and informational titles, a teacher toolkit with simple daily lesson plans and parent engagement picture cards with vocabulary in English and Spanish and an 18" x 24" big idea poster.

Key Concepts

Key Concepts Click to enlarge

Planning made easy

Big ideas and key concepts for each topic help structure lessons. Simple weekly and daily lesson plans guide the use and order of the books in each text set.

Carefully constructed text sets

Carefully Constructed Text Sets Click to enlarge

Purposeful sequencing

Our experienced team of former educators reads through thousands of titles to ensure each builds to the next – from predictable texts to informational texts. This sequence helps children gain critical background knowledge to engage with more challenging information introduced later in the text sets.

Lesson Plans

Consistent Lesson Design Click to enlarge

Consistent lesson design

Daily lesson plans allow for easy implementation with a Talk Together, Read Together and Reflect Together framework. Additional strategies for ELL students, Think Like a Scientist activities and assessments.

Text Sets

Connect children's word knowledge with their world knowledge

World of Words organizes books and lesson plans through a series of text sets (10 per level). In each text set, books are unified around the big ideas that they explore. Levels are organized by introducing topics with limited and concrete concepts, gradually increasing to multiple and abstract concepts. The scaffolding of topics allows children to build their vocabulary and understanding.

Try It Out!

Download or print out a sample topic. See how easy it is to incorporate WOW into what you do everyday.

Level A Sample
Level A sample

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Level B sample
Level B sample

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Level C sample
Level C sample

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World of Words (WOW) is a unique program because it has been shown in four separate trials to improve a constellation of language and literacy skills for children who come from high-need circumstances (Neuman & Dwyer, 2011; Neuman, Neuman, & Dwyer, 2011). Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the program has been subject to three design experiments, culminating in a randomized controlled trial with 646 children that included a sizable percentage of second-language learners from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in a large urban school district. Results reported significant improvements in children's vocabulary, conceptual development and comprehension over the course of one year with continuous improvements documented one year later. In addition, children's standardized scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Dunn & Dunn, 2006), a receptive vocabulary measure, increased substantially, exceeding expected learning 150%.

Results reported significant improvements in children's vocabulary, conceptual development and comprehension over the course of one year with continuous improvements documented one year later.

Meet the WOW Factor

Dr. Susan B. Neuman is a Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning at New York University specializing in early literacy development. Previously, she was a Professor at the University of Michigan and served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. She has written more than 100 articles, and authored and edited 11 books. Her most recent books are Giving Our Children a Fighting Chance: Poverty Literacy, and the Development of Information Capital (Teachers College Press, 2012); and All About Words: Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom, Pre K-2 (Teachers College Press, 2013).

Follett School Solutions is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. World of Words combines the research and methodology developed by Dr. Susan B. Neuman with the Follett's title selection expertise. With relationships with thousands of publishers and a team of educators with advanced degrees, Follett's work on the World of Words demonstrates the ongoing commitment to finding the most relevant and developmentally appropriate content.

Watch the exclusive interviews with Dr. Susan B. Neuman