Learning Tasks
Picture


Vocabulary Strategies in 15 Minutes!
BACKGROUND
Direct instruction of vocabulary can help students learn enough words to become better readers, and becoming a better reader can in turn help students learn even more vocabulary. So how do we teach students to learn or acquire new vocabulary?  Research suggests that vocabulary instruction should include the following components: definitional and contextual information about a word; multiple exposures to a word in different contexts; and encouragement of students' active participation in their own learning of the new words.1  Here are 15 vocabulary activities that you can integrate into your classroom starting tomorrow!
Picture

the FRAYER MODEL - artist's delight!

Picture
6th Grade Science Frayer Model/Gallery Walk
This graphic organizer helps students to learn new vocabulary by not only defining the term in their own words, but contextualizing it through authentic examples and visual representation. 

CLASSROOM INTEGRATION: the Gallery Walk
PREP: Identify and list the essential vocabulary for the unit.  Working in groups of 3-4 student, assign each team ONE term.
MINI LESSON: Introduce the Frayer Model by modeling the strategy.  Establish expectations for student learning product using a rubric or checklist.
GROUP WORK: Facilitate student learning by conferencing with each group and using probing questions to help students think through their reasoning.
STATUS of THE CLASS: Assign one student in the group as the 'presenter'.  The other team members will circulate the room to other groups to learn about their term.  Use a 2 minute timer to keep the activity on pace.

vocab_1_frayer_model.doc
File Size: 29 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture

Graffiti Vocabulary

Picture
7 & 8th Grade Social Studies Graffiti Word Wall
When the vocabulary words are associate with subject specific concepts, have the student create word posters.  Provide recognition for good work by transforming the student work into the class word wall!

Graffiti Criteria
1. Vocabulary word is drawn using bubble letters
2. Description of term using own words
3. At least 3 images representing the term
4. All white space must be colored in

vocab_2_graffiti_vocabulary_rubric.doc
File Size: 45 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
Making Meaning
This is a great anticipatory activity to introduce students to context clues.  Identify 4-5 vocabulary words from the text that students will need to understand in order to comprehend the text.  In order to activate prior knowledge, students will brainstorm what they already know about the vocabulary term.  Do a think-pair-share if you perceive that they will have difficulty with the new terms.  During the reading, use the think aloud strategy to model how context clues provide context and give meaning to the vocabulary words. 
vocab_3_making_meaning_worksheet.doc
File Size: 32 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture

Word Wall Match-Up

Picture
Living Environment Visual Word Wall
Authentic learning means putting the student at the center of the experience.  But sometimes, they need a little support, especially when you are introducing new more complicated terms.  Using the word wall match-up strategies, students will using problem solving and reasoning skills to match up terms with definitions, and in some cases symbolic representation.

vocab_4_word_wall_match_up_science.doc
File Size: 830 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
Vocabulary Anchor
There are times when explicitly teaching new vocabulary is appropriate.  Try using a vocabulary anchor to introduce a new term during whole group instruction.  Using an interactive smartboard, facilitate a class discussion by introducing a new vocabulary word and a similar term.  For instance, introduce the word 'colony' and identify the word 'state' as a similar term.  Because students are familiar with the meaning of state, activate their knowledge by asking them what characteristics the two words have in common (+).  Next, use the think aloud strategy to help students brainstorm how the term colony is unique (-).
vocab_5_vocabulary_anchor.doc
File Size: 46 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture

Vocabulary Cartoons

Picture
This strategy, taken from an SAT Prep resource, is an excellent way to help students to visualize new words.  It includes the following elements:
  • vocabulary term
  • phoenetic spelling
  • brief description
  • linking word
  • cartoon
  • sentence that uses the vocabulary term
Jigsaw this activity at the beginning of a unit so that each student group is responsible for one word.  Throughout the unit, refer to the vocabulary cartoons as the terms come up in the lessons.  Groups must present their work on the spot.

vocab_6_vocabulary_cartoon.doc
File Size: 27 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
Essential Prefix
Give students an opportunity to create a Prefix Reference Chart in their notes.  A quick activity at the beginning of the school year can help students breakdown new words based on their understanding of prefixes and root words.
Picture

Picture

Wordsplash

Picture
NYS Social Studies Curriculum
A wordsplash is a collection of key words or concepts chosen from a passage or chapter that students are about to read. This strategy gives students a chance to relate the new words or concepts to the main topic of the reading.


vocab_7_wordsplash.doc
File Size: 30 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
Interview a Word
Why not turn vocabulary acquisition into a game?  Using the Interview a Word strategies, students will review and summarize learning to develop concepts and comprehension.
  • Select key words important to understanding a concept or unit.
  • Divide class into teams of 2-4 students.
  • Give each team a word and list of interview questions.
  • Have students “become” the word and write answer to questions.
Without revealing the word, the teacher or a student acts as Interviewer and asks the questions as team members read their written answers. After the interview, the class guesses the word.

Picture
Word Sorting
Provide a list of vocabulary words from a reading selection and have students sort them into various categories (e.g., parts of speech, branches of government). Students can re-sort words into "guess my sort" using categories of their own choosing.

Picture

Vocabulary Frames

Picture
Turn the traditional vocabulary review index card into a higher order thinking strategy for learning new words.  In this activity, students will create vocabulary frames using concept terms.  They will develop a definition based on their own understanding (right corner), as well as the opposite (left corner).  Finally, they will write a quirky sentence to remind them of the word's meaning (lower left corner) and a quick sketch (lower right corner).

vocab_11_vocabulary_frames.doc
File Size: 33 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
The K.I.M. Strategy
This is a basic version of vocabulary frames (see strategy 11) where students identify the key term, information about it, and a memory cue based on their own understanding of the vocabulary term.
vocab_12_k_i_m_strategy.doc
File Size: 32 kb
File Type: doc
Download File


Picture
Crossword Puzzles
Believe it or not, crossword puzzles are an excellent way for students to apply the vocabulary they have already learned.  Include a word bank to support stuggling learners.
                                           CHECK OUT Discovery Education's Website for making crossword puzzles.

Picture

Vocabulary Squares

Picture
In this activity, students 'dissect' a word by completing the components of the vocabulary square worksheet.  Not only will learners understand the term, they will also apply their knowledge by creating a visual representation and sentence.

Click Here: Vocabulary Square Worksheet


Picture

Learning Maps

Picture
Learning Maps are a form of concept maps that are developed by the learner based on their own understanding and experiences with the concepts.

1. Stahl, 30; Texas Reading Initiative, 20.