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Concept Capsules™ : The Interactive, Research-based Strategy for Teaching Academic Vocabulary

Supercharge your vocabulary instruction. Engage learners. See incredible results right away. Here’s how.

Vocabulary Reimagined

onomatopoeia concept capsule example

What is a Concept Capsule?

A Concept Capsule is a single sheet of paper (or digital document) that introduces students to key vocabulary terms using a specific format designed to increase understanding and lead to full ownership of the term. 

Composed of four distinct parts, the Capsules are introduced and practiced using a research-based strategy specifically designed to work effectively in all content areas across a wide range of grade levels.  

isosceles concept capsule example

All the Research

The Concept Capsule method is based on the best and latest in vocabulary instruction research. You'll be confident knowing your students are benefitting from everything we know about how we learn vocabulary.

Dozens of Examples

You'll get twelve ready-to-use examples from each of the four core content areas, and a bonus example from outside core content.
You'll also know exactly how to create your own Capsules.

Clear Instructions

You will be led, step-by-step through the process. You'll know how to introduce the idea to students and how to introduce the words themselves. More than a book, it's a manual for implementation that anyone can use.

Review Activities

Over two dozen review activity ideas are included, with templates for those that need them. The activities can be used with any content - not just the Concept Capsules.

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Would You like a Sample Chapter?

If you’d like a sample chapter to get an even deeper feel for the method, click the button!

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Author spotlight

 Lisa’s master’s degree is a little unusual: It’s in the actual teaching of English. She’s spent her entire professional career laser-focused on excellent instruction. In her latest book, she continues the work of improving classroom experience, focusing on academic vocabulary. Lisa is an educator, a frequent and well-regarded conference speaker, and the former Youth & Education Ambassador for Mensa. She works to make the world safe for gifted kids at, and she shares ideas on vocabulary instruction at


Lisa Van gemert, M.Ed.T.

Teachers say

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Concept Capsules has given me a systematic method of instructing students in academic vocabulary & the tools to make sure the words stick. You’ll be able to put the ideas to immediate use.

If students are to truly undersand the discipline, they need to know the vocabulary. Lisa’s book will help teachers ensure that.

Mike Saltz

Teachers will have no problem implementing this meaningfully into the classroom…She discusses how to implement it in ways that won’t overwhelm students or the teacher — this is a key point so many “new ideas” miss! As an educator, I know that the most important thing for me in any professional learning is the ability to find an immediate takeaway for my classroom and Concept Capsules does not disappoint!


Megan Puckett

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The book is your complete guide to the Concept Capsule Method.

Concept Capsules is all you’ll need to get started right away! Watch your academic vocabulary instruction transform right before your eyes in ways you’ve never imagined.

Chapters Include

How (and Why) to use the Method

This method is grounded in research. It's aligned with the best neuroscience and educational research have to offer about learning, especially vocabulary. You'll also learn how to implement the method step-by-step.

Concept Capsule Samples

You'll get 48 Concept Capsules, 12 each from the four core content areas: ELA, math, science, and social studies. You'll get a bonus example from outside those disciplines. All of the samples are ready to use in your classroom.

How to Create Your Own Concept Capsules

You'll be guided step-by-step on how to create your own Concept Capsules. Each section will be described in detail, with tips & tricks learned over decades of practice.

How to Introduce Concept Capsules to Students

An entire lesson plan is included (complete with graphic organizer) that will help you introduce the method to students. You'll also learn how to introduce individual Concept Capsules to students.

Watch the video below to see Lisa explain the method in even more detail.

Review Activities for any Teacher!

Over two dozen review games and activities are included. They can be used for any review experience!

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Why This Method?

I’ve spent decades perfecting this method, adjusting it find that sweet spot where research and classroom practice meet in a way that is effective and actually works. 

But’s it’s not just about the vocabulary. This method is specifically intended to build classroom community and develop relationships. 

This is probably the most important work I’ve done as a teacher, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share it with you.

Lisa Van gemert, M.Ed.T.

Teachers Say

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This book is an essential read for any (and every) teacher, and you cannot say that about most educational books! Lisa makes the skill of learning Tier III vocabulary easily accessible while generously providing teachers with everything that anyone would need to immediately use this strategy in the classroom including scripts, templates, and researched support. 


Rebecca Hargrove

Lisa Van Gemert’s book, Concept Capsules, gave me SO much inspiration and a new direction that I will use to teach vocabulary this year and beyond! The book does well to explain the “how” and “why” Concept Capsules are an effective tool for students to comprehend and own newly presented academic vocabulary. The book also includes tons of examples, ideas, and tips to make Concept Capsules success for every teachers’ implementation!



Dolph Petris

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Interested in a digital template for creating Concept Capsules? Join the Concept Capsule Insiders & you’ll get a free template you can use in your own classroom.

Available in E-book & Paperback formats

How to decide which format to choose?