Research shows that vocabulary is closely linked to academic success. A strong vocabulary is essential to good reading and, because reading and writing are so closely related, essential to writing (Brynildssen 2000, 1). (Eileen Simmons on vocabulary at the National Writing Project website)
The archive of resources on literary instruction at the National Writing Project website is definitely worth investigation. Above is a teaser...something to get you to dig in to what NWP offers.