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Vocabulary Lesson Ideas

Compiled By: Mrs. G Bookmark and Share
Are you looking for ways to liven up your vocabulary lessons? Try out some of these fun and engaging ways to introduce new vocabulary words.
Vocab Games
Posted by:TeachAbroad #132439

I love vocab games. Here are some things I do in class:

1. Vocabulary Bingo -- Students can write their vocabulary words in a bingo sheet and you call out the words.

2. Last week, I had two students sit in front of the class. Their chairs faced the rest of the classroom. On the board behind them (so they couldn't see) I wrote down one of our vocab words. The class was divided into 2 teams. Each time had 5 chances to give clues so the student could guess the word. For example, if the word is frantic--they would say wild, emotional, etc. I only allowed them to give one word clues, which essentially are synonyms. Somtimes I allowed a 3 word clue! But, they loved it.

3. Vocab detective--this takes preparation, but I have parents help out.Write the vocab word on an...

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Vocabulary game
Posted by:Mrs.Znak #141422

Hello...I play the vocabulary pyramid (like the ten thousand dollar pyramid). I put however many vocab words they have that week in a pyramid and number the pyramid blocks. My students are set up in pods so they come up four at a time (two guess, while the other 2 describe). They start with block one and begin making attempts to get their teammates to say the correct word by giving them clues (definitions or words related to). Once they get a block correct they move to the next block. They get 1 minute and 30 seconds to get as many as possible (that's with an 8 word vocab list). They are permitted to pass a word if they get stuck and they can come back to it. They really enjoy it.

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Fingerprint
Posted by:bonnybelle #131235

The students can practice their recall of terms and definitions in a fun way.

1. Teacher can write the terms on the white board.

2. Two students can come up to the white board and face the class.
Students can take turns giving the two students clues in the form of the definition. Then, the students can turn to reach for the term on the white board. The one who touches the term first remains in the game and the other students sits down.

3. A new challenger comes up to repeat the game process.

Just until students get the hang of it the teacher can play the role of the moderator. After, a few rounds you can turn it over to the students to run the game. I've used this format in First through Fifth grade. It's fairly engaging for the...

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Crazy and calm
Posted by:toniateach #127053

Okay....the first is wild...and is really only good once in a while. Assign partners one word. On one piece of paper they write the vocab. word and on the other they write the definition. Then they crumple the papers up into a ball. When everyone is done and you've been very specific about rules..you have a snowball fight with the papers. They don't hurt or break anything. After a minute or so, everyone gets one "snowball" and they have to find their partner.

The second is not a game but is a consistent activity in my room. We call it a four square. Divide a piece of paper into 4ths (sideways/hamburger)Put a circle in the middle and write the vocab word. In the first box they write the definition, the second- use it in a sentence, 3- opposite or synonyms whatever...

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Rivet
Posted by:nuhusker98 #141418

On the first day of a new story, I use a four-block strategy called RIVET. It is supposet to "rivet" the kids attention to the selection. To do this activity, you first need to identify the vocabulary you want to teach, along with several key words in the story. Then you make a transparency with blank lines for every letter in every word you want to do. For example if your words were lair, gorged, and forlorn, your transparency would look like:
___ ___ ___ ___
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
You give clues to each word, maybe the definition, maybe an example or a synonym, and reveal letters as the students make attempts at the word. As they get each word, write maybe a one or two word clue alongside the word so they can remember what it means. After you introduce all of the key vocabulary...

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vocab game
Posted by:cris #141417

here's a simple and easy game that needs practically no set up. when you introduce new words, write them on 4 x 6 or 5 x 8 index cards with the definitions on the back. make enough so that everyone has a vocab card. you may have to repeat some so repeat the ones that are harder to remember. to begin playing, give everyone a vocabulary card and have them hold it so that the word faces outward and the definition is facing them. at the go signal, they partner up with someone and give the definition for their partner's word. after that, they exchange cards with their partner and go in search of a new partner. play for only 3 minutes or so and encourage kids to seek out as many partners as possible. this works great for a quick review. and if you get in the habit of writing the words on...

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fun game
Posted by:fun_friend #141419

I like so many of the ideas I've read here! Teaching vocabulary is one of my primary passions. I really believe a large vocabulary is the mark of intelligence or at least education.

I take 10-20 words and type them in a column on Excel. I skip a column and then type a corresponding definition. I format the typing to a large font but make sure it fits on one or two pages of cardstock. I print a few copies and cut the definitions and terms apart and put each collection in a small zip lock bag. I have kids work in pairs or trios to match up the terms to definitions as a study technique. I have them practice a few times if a vocabulary test is emminent. This is an easy way to review and also to allow the kids to talk about the vocabulary. I have several sets I've made this year...

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Flashlight Vocab
Posted by:Jim #141421

I love teaching vocabulary-it can be so fun and innovative. My favorite is the flashlight game. On a 8.5 x 11 paper write all the vocabulary words, and place them around the room. Review definitions or have students find the definitions. Then divide into groups of 3 or 4. Call out the definition. ON 1 students aim their flashlight on the word. Say 2 they shine their lights on the right word (I do this so they don't follow any group--this way they can't copy and think for themselves. If they get it right 1 point. Prize for winning team.
Jim Scott

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QUick Game
Posted by:danie #141416

I play I have Who Has Vocab game after introducing the vocab. I just write "I have __________" on one side of an index card, on the other side it says "Who has a word that means___________?" You set it up so that each word goes to the next card inline, etc...so the kids have to work together and pay attention to answer...I give out the cards by group and time each group, the group that goes the quickest wins....Another idea is I assign each group a word and they need to find a definition, antonym, synonym, symbol/ picture for their word, than we fill in a vocab chart for each vocab word...I leave the context clue passage on the overhead for them to use and they can use the computer, thesaurus, etc...this is quick and takes like 20 minutes to complete.

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Ideas!
Posted by:ConnieWI #132574

Matching #1:
--Draw a picture or write words on a 12" x 12" piece of construction paper (clown face, alphabet letter, "You are Special!"). (You could also use a calendar picture or some other picture and just mount it on a piece of construction paper. It needs to be glued a lot so when it is cut apart, the edges stay together. That makes this step so much easier!)
--Now turn the paper over and draw 2" x 2" or 3" x 3" squares. In each square, write an antonym. Laminate and cut apart.
--On a second piece of 12" x 12" piece of construction paper, draw another set of squares. Write the correct answer in the squares. Laminate, but do not cut apart.
--Students place the smaller squares on the larger square. They can then check their answers by turning over the smaller squares to form the picture.
...

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Vocab reviews
Posted by:Dhallivi #141415

I do a few thing for vocab.

1) Flash cards: These can be used as a "memory" game. Students draw a simple picture or symbol for the word that defines it. Then, they match them up with a partner in a game like Memory.
2) Act them out. "Who can show me 'rambunctious?'" "Can you do it differently?" "Who can show me the opposite (or antonym)?"

3) A chart with the following columns: Word, Dictionary, Mine, Sentence, picture, Synonym, Antonym. You can pick and choose which ones you want, but turn the paper landscape and make boxes about 1" so they have room to work. I can post it I think... just let me know if you want to see it.

4) I make a note in my plans reminding me to use the word during the next few lessons. "So, that cat was kinda...

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voc.
Posted by:SusanTeach #141412

One of my centers occasionally is where they make a small booklet and illustrate the vocabulary. Then they write a sentence to go along with the picture. They love it because they're always looking for an excuse to draw, and it really helps them remember what it means (for my visual learners) and be able to use it in a sentence. They're allowed to draw stick people, of course (for those of us who aren't artists!).

For a whole class activity, we play "swat" (an idea I got here on PT!). If you need the directions, let me know - but it would be hard to do in cooperative groups quietly.

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Swat
Posted by:SusanTeach #141413

So easy.....and fun! You put the vocabulary words on the board - randomly written around (not necessarily in rows). 2 students (we like boys vs. girls) each have a fly swatter. I read a definition and the first student to "swat" the word gets a point for their team. We play until all the words are done (and I do some words more than once to make sure they're paying attention). You can also put some words from past vocabulary in there - as a refresher.

I think other people wrote the words on a transparency, so the swatting wouldn't erase them from the board - so that's another option. :s)

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vocab game
Posted by:sue cat #141420

I write the vocab on an index card and tape it a a kids back. The kid picks 3 kids to help them figure it out by giving clues. They can not say the word (obviously) or use a form of the word. If the kid can use those 3 clues to figureout whatis taped to their back, they win the card. Its called Vobackulary.

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Vocabulary activities
Posted by:3rdgradeteach #141414

My students for the last couple of years have had very little exposure and understanding of antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, rhyming words, compound words, etc when they come to me. Majority are second language learners which adds another difficulty.I am trying to think of a center that will make up for this lack and at the same time diversify for the different levels and learning type that will be coming in.
I was thinking of doing things like giving them a choice of activity that has to do with the same skill.
Example:
Antonyms:
1. Play concentration and then write a list of the antonyms found.
2. Choose a certain number of antonym pairs and write a sentence using both words: My mother likes to take a hot shower but my brother likes to take a cold one.
3. Choose a certain number of antonym pairs and draw a...

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No title
Posted by:Jaime #141411

I introduce the vocab. for our reading stories by playing "hang man". After the word is revealed, we discuss the meaning of the word. Actually, it's hang man, but I adapt it by drawing a monkey hanging in a tree. I draw the tree then each time they miss a letter, I draw the parts of a monkey (tail, body, head, arms, legs, and sometimes I'll draw the ears separate. I chose to do it this way because last year I had a student that had a brother commit suicide. I wasn't sure how it happened, so instead of calling it "Hang man", I called it "swinging monkey". My fourth graders love this activity.

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vocabulary activites
Posted by:joybells #130898

My children love to write their vocabulary words on their white boards. I went to Lowes and bought a sheet of white paneling that is often used in bathrooms. I had them cut it in half so I could get it home and then my husband cut them up in 9 X 12 boards. I gave them each a board, a piece of wash cloth and a dry erase marker. Most of the vocabulary words can be written phonetically so I usually say the word, we talk about how many sounds it has, then I show them with my fingers how many letters it has. For example cow would have two sounds but I would put up three fingers with the fingers representing the ow sound together. Then we would talk about what makes the "ow" sound. Then they would write it. After we write it once I have them erase it and then tell...

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Vocabulary Activities
Posted by:Angie #22699

I am a firm believer that kids will learn vocab if they see/hear it everyday, so we do vocab activities everyday for that story's words. Here are a few activities that have worked great for me.

Around the Room--I hang up the definitions on cards on different objects in the room and the studnets make a list of the vocab words. They silently walk around the room and write down WHERE the definition is for the word. I tell them that they shouldn't stop and write it down because everyone will come running--they love this one!

Pass the Ladybug (or whatever you have)-I start a stuffed ladybug with a student and they say a word and pass the bug to someone else who says the definition--then they pass to a new person for a word and so on--good for active learners.

Build Your Vocabulary--I have...

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Make learning vocabulary a game
Posted by:Anne M. #50611

Try making practicing vocabulary words a game. Here are a few things that have worked for me. (I've used these with my sp ed classes, while teaching computer lab and during 5th grade reading) 1. Make a cube from two milk carton bottoms and cover with contact paper. Each week, write the vocabulary words on masking tape and stick one to each side of the cube. Have the kids toss the cube around the room (set some ground rules first)and read/define the word that comes up on top when they catch it. They could also use it in a sentence etc. My kids enjoy this one because they get to throw something.
2. Play mystery word. Write the words on cards. Split the class into teams. Show one team a word. Don't let the other team see it. Members of the first team must give clues,...

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Vocabulary Scramble
Posted by:EA #52795

I play a game called "Vocabulary Scramble" with my kids. For each vocabulary word, I write the word and the definition on separate index cards (or small pieces of white paper.) I then tape each card face down on the front board. After the cards are taped, I number them (normally 1 through 20 or so). The class is then divided into 2 teams. One at a time, students are given the opportunity to call out numbers to find a matching pair -- a vocabulary word and a matching definition. When a number is called out, I turn that card over, allowing the whole class to see the hidden word or definition. If a team gets a match, their team earns a point, and somebody else on that team gets to pick again (for a maximum of 3 matches in a row correct -- then play switches to the other team.) If the...

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Vocabulary
Posted by:JR #59110

I teach in Texas also. What I have done to make a flip book with the voc. words and then find pictures in the newspaper to illustrate it. For example for the word addend they would find a number in the newpaper; then find another number glue them on and then write the word addend under each number and then try to find a picture to illustrate the sum. 1(addend) + 3(addend)= 4 separate pictures or 1 picture with 4 things in it. To make the flip book fold the paper horizontial then fold into thirds. Open the paper and cut on the fold onlly going up to the top of the paper don't cut all the way through. Write addend on the first flip lift up glue the number write addend on the second flip lift up put the second number write sum on the third flip lift up and put picture. You...

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vocabulary review
Posted by:BeBe Paul #91988

We play a game called Row Race. Break the vocabulary words down into a group of 5 or so. Then write those five on the board or overhead. Tell the first student in each row to take out a piece of paper. The rows will race to see which row can use all the words in sentences or write all the definitions first. You choose which. The first person chooses their word writes it and then passes the paper back, each word can only be used once. The farther back the paper goes the more difficult it gets because the choices are narrowed. The first row to bring their paper to you and have it checked correct wins. This can also be adapted for parts of speech, math problems, etc...

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Vocabulary
Posted by:Boni #85398

Our favorite vocabulary activity is Dictionary Day. With teacher approval, students choose words with which they think their classmates will be unfamiliar. They then dress up to illustrate the words. They must have the word somewhere on their costume. Activities that day include explaining their word to classmates and other word games. We also take pictures and each student creates a dictionary page for his/her word.

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Vocabulary
Posted by:A from Delaware #50560

My class loves and is very successful with vocabulary-we also have about 6-8 new words each week.
On Fridays after their reading test they copy the new words and definitions (they look up the meaning) into a small vocabulary notebook that I provide at the beginning of the year.
On the following Mon.-Thurs. I spend about 10-20 mins doing vocabulary review. It may be a game I call "popcorn" where I give a clue to a word and they pop up and say it when I snap. Or, give out words or put them on the board and have the children write sentences with blanks and trade with a partner.
At this time we have about 50 words in our vocabulary to use since I keep adding words and any past word can be used too.
On Thursdays I give a vocabulary test and the parents know it is every...

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