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Back to School: Create a Name with Vocabulary Words

Vocabulary-Activity

This simple back-to-school vocabulary activity is a great icebreaker and will get students immediately learning new vocabulary words. Also, this brief activity can serve to introduce your vocabulary book, help students access previous vocabulary, and set the precident that words are an important part of the curriculum. Teachers also benefit from this classroom activity! I found that Create a Name with Vocabulary Words not only helped me remember the names of my students, but gave me a glimpse of their individual personalities.

First, download and print my Create a Name with Vocabulary Words handout. Next, instruct students to flip through their vocabulary book (or alternatively a vocabulary list). Have them write down the vocabulary words that in some way describe their personalities-preferably with some alliterative or consonance connection to their own first and/or last name. 

Some examples:

Elementary:
Ms. Ressler at the Center  (as the teacher)
Ms. Ressler the Inventor (that’s what we teachers do every day!)
Ms. Ressler the Present Leader (this year, I’m your teacher) 

Middle/High School:
Ms. Ressler the Benefactor (I am here to give you knowledge)
Ms. Ressler the Venerable Renegade (I like to flout traditions and am become respected amongst my peers) 

Have the students write their finalized name (extra points/awards if they can use more than one word) on the name tag handout provided and decorate it. They can attach their vocabulary names to their desks or you could hang them around the classroom!

 

Vocabulary-Activity

 

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words
Language Standard 5.
Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge

 

Related Posts:
Got Words? Vocabulary Competition
Words Make The Man
Vocabulary Award Activity

Back to School: Breaking the Ice with Vocabulary Words

Vocabulary-Activities

The first day of school evokes feelings of anxiety and excitement in both students and teachers. As teachers begin planning for the new school year its important to brainstorm activities that will "break the ice" and ease feelings of discomfort in students. During the first week of class teachers should focus more on fostering relationships and building a community within the classroom, than curriculum objectives.

Games are on of the best ways to encourage camaraderie and get students talking! Today I'm highlighting a game I shared last August. Vocabulary Icebreaker is a simple game I created based off an "icebreaker" activity I participated in at a workshop called "Exquisite Corpse". I like this game because it lends itself to vocabulary development and fosters a jovial classroom dynamic.

To play, students are each handed a strip of blank paper (you can use the template I created or just cut up slips of blank paper), and students write the best adjective they can think of (have them try to use their previous vocabulary words) at the top of their papers.

Then they fold their papers back so that their adjective is hidden, and pass their slips on to the next person in their row/circle/group etc. That person writes the best noun that s/he can think of (again, push for vocabulary words here) and then folds the paper so it is not visible to the next participant. The next participant than writes an impressive verb on the slip. The game is repeated three more times in the same adjective-noun-verb order. The final player then adds any needed articles and fixes any verb tense issues to make the sentence grammatically correct. Students can share aloud the most novel, hilarious or befuddling sentences created by their peers.

Not only is this a fun way to see what students consider “vocabulary words,” and you can see the range of vocabulary prowess in your class, it is definitely a great way to foster a positive class community.

 

Download Vocabulary Icebreaker for your classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge.

 

Related Posts:

Top 3 Mistakes (New) Teachers Make

Back to School with Reach for the Stars

Vocabulary Activity: Create a Name with Vocab

Back to School: Puzzle Together Your Vocabulary Words, Grades 1–12

Vocabulary-ActivityI really love the idea of creating and then reassembling a jigsaw puzzle to review one’s words (thanks Jake!).  I am going to print out copies of the downloadable jigsaw template onto cardstock and then have each student pick one of the following options:

  • Write one vocabulary word on each puzzle piece and draw a coordinating picture on the other side.  Then link the pictures together so that the jigsaw puzzle has another larger image that ties together all the smaller pictures. Once you cut the pieces out from the cardstock, review the words as you recreate the finished puzzle.

  • Write coordinating vocabulary words on neighboring pieces.  For example, if you have the word “expunge” and the word “extirpate” (both mean to get rid of something) –put those two words next to each other.  Then, on the other side of “expunge”, perhaps write “truculent” because someone who is “truculent” (angry) often “expunges” items. Once you cut the pieces out from the cardstock, review the words and their related meanings as you recreate the finished puzzle.

  • Write your vocabulary words on separate puzzle pieces and then draw a lovely pictures that weaves around all of the words.  On the back of each puzzle piece, write the definition of the word.  Once you cut the pieces out from the cardstock, review the words as you recreate the finished puzzle.



Students love puzzles, especially spatial and kinesthetic who might not always be able to have a physical activity to do while studying words.  Hopefully this is a unique enough twist for students to learn to piece words and meaning together!

 

  Download Now

 

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:

Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge

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Mother May I Vocabulary Game
Color Your Words
Vocabulary Memory

Back To School: Vocabulary Sheet of the Week, Grades 1–12

Vocabulary-SheetEvery day, my students walk into my classroom and pull out their Vocabulary Sheet of the Week. They record the two vocabulary words that we review each day and make each word meaningful by writing a sentence that relates to their interests (whether it be their favorite reality TV show or their favorite sports team). They also have to write a mnemonic device or draw a picture to help them remember each word.

I love to encourage students to study by folding their sheet so that one side has the words and the other side has the definitions. This way they can study by looking at the word and trying to remember the definition then flipping it over to check if their definition was correct. 

The sheet is also handy because students who forgot their vocabulary workbooks never have an excuse to not study or not complete the activities with us; even if they forget their sheet, I can always hand them a new copy!

 

Get the  Vocabulary Sheet of the Week worksheet for your classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

Common-Core-ELA Common Core State Standards:

Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge 

 

Related Posts:
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Stickers and Stars
Vocabulary Playlist

Back to School: Menu for the Perfect Meal Vocabulary Activity, Grades 1–12

 

Vocabulary-Activity

Everyone has a favorite meal-foods that conjure up fond memories or set one’s taste buds to watering.  Today, I am sharing my UPDATED Menu for a Perfect Meal vocabulary activity. With this lesson students will attach their memories of food to vocabulary word meanings.  How do we do it?  Ask students to write out the items that would make up their perfect meal –and then describe each portion using vocabulary words. 

Students get to write about a subject they love, and then attach those positive associations to vocabulary words-a win, win for everyone (except perhaps a few stomachs that may start grumbling).

Start preparing for the new school year and download the example menu and handouts for you classroom!

 

Get The Perfect Meal Handouts!

 

 

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:

Writing Standard 1. Write arguments to support claims, using valid reasoning and evidence.
Writing Standard 2. Write informative/explanatory texts through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Writing Standard 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate
Writing Standard 5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, etc.
Writing Standard 10. Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Language Standard 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Language Standard 2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge

 

Summer Learning: July Vocabulary Activities Calendar

 

Vocabulary-CalendarI always want my students to engage with their vocabulary words each day, and this handy vocabulary activities calendar makes practice quick, easy and a little more fun to check off.

I have a suggested word for each week, but feel free to add your own extra words to the mix.  Please let me know if you like this chart and suggest other great short activities as options on days of the week; if this is a popular download, I will try to put together a different chart each month.

 

  July Vocabulary Activities Calendar

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:

Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge
Speaking & Listening Standard 1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations
Speaking & Listening Standard 4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow
Speaking & Listening Standard 6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks 

 

Related Posts:

There’s a Word for That
Bowdlerize to Vocabularize
Vocabulary Land Game Board

Fun with Synonyms: Guess That Word Vocabulary Card Game, Grades 3-8

Vocabulary-Games
When I play party games I always look for a way to tweak them for vocabulary instruction. Recently I updated the game card templates of one of my most popular vocabulary games, Fun with Synonyms: Guess That Word Vocabulary Game (a.k.a. Banned Words).

Instructions:

1.) Decide how many students should play in a group. (I suggest 4–8 students).

2.) Have students move to their assigned groups.

3.) Have each student create cards for 16-32 vocabulary words.

Students should refer to the directions on their game card template when filling in their words.

4.) Once all students have filled in their game card with their assigned words, have them cut out the individual cards to be combined into a single deck. One team member will collect all the cards, shuffle them thoroughly, then hand the stack to the team member going first. Someone within the group must be accountable for keeping time.

 

Rules:

In each group, students form two teams. Students sit in a circle, alternating players from team 1 and team 2. Students take turns as the contestant who attempts to prompt his or her teammates to guess as many vocabulary words as possible in one minute. However, each card has a list of synonyms listed that may not be spoken to help their team guess the vocabulary word.  Should they use a listed word, the opposing team may say "beep", and the contestant must move on to the next word without receiving a point. The contestant may ONLY use speech to prompt his or her teammates.

While the contestant is prompting his teammates they may guess the vocabulary word as many times as they like with no penalties for wrong guesses. Once the team correctly guesses the word exactly as written on the card, the contestant will move on to the next game card.

 

download now

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary Word of the Week

 

Vocabulary-Words-Quaint

 

Vocabulary Word of the Week on iWords

Vocabulary Word of the Week Hangman Interactive

Vocabulary Word of the Week Multiple Choice

Vocabulary Word of the Week Crosswords

Vocabulary Word of the Week Word Search

 

 

 

 

Memory with Words Vocabulary Game, Grades K–8

 

Vocabulary-Game

My friend Misty shared with me a game she created as part of her work in brain studies at Johns Hopkins –yes, she’s that awesome!  I am grateful for her idea that I will share with you here-it makes a great deal of sense and who doesn’t love playing a game of Memory (I always find myself becoming addicted when playing with my three year old, but maybe that’s just me)? Playing Memory with words can be easily incorporated into a vocabulary lesson plan!

Students create 5-15 visual representations of key vocabulary words (or concepts if you want to use literary ideas or tell your friends in other disciplines about this great approach). This can be done using index cards or other paper provided by the teacher (you could use the template grid I created if you wanted) or let students create the concepts at home on paper or computer.

When the visual representations are completed for each vocabulary word, one student partners up with another student who has the EXACT SAME WORDS and they share their drawings and explanations.

Incorporating "Memory" into vocabulary instruction can reap academic rewards. Download the Memory with Words Vocabulary Game template to:

  • Review Vocabulary

  • Reinforce the connection between words and visuals

  • Make vocabulary instruction fun and exciting for students

 

Download the Memory With Words vocabulary template!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary Reflection for the School Year 2013-2014

It’s been another amazing year for me, and I hope your school year was equally wonderful.  I’m going to continue in last year’s tradition and take some of my favorite Word of the Week Vocabulary Words to explain my take on this year.

 End-of-School-Reflection

Pelt- My new role as school librarian gives me the unique opportunity to offer advice to many new and veteran teachers, and that has translated into me pelting you with posts offering my words of wisdom.  I really enjoy getting to distill down my ideas into Top 3 or Top 5 lists, and I hope they have helped you or your peers.  See these links to my Advice for New Teachers, Top Three Mistakes New Teachers Make, Advice for Test Takers, Advice for Conference Goers, and finally Advice for Graduates. I’d love to hear what you think of my advice and/or offer up your own!

Seethe- Thanks to the “Word of the Week”, I have learned that seethe can mean to be excited, not just to be angry.  I am seething because of my new Vocabulary Land printable board game; my graphics team made it so beautiful, I’m going to laminate my color copies so students can write on them with dry erase markers, and we can play the game year after year!

Humdrum- I always get frustrated when teachers and students find learning vocabulary to be humdrum.  Learning words should be fun, and I feel honored that so many of you celebrate new words with me by downloading my vocabulary activities and games all year long.  Thank you for your exhilaration!

Replica- Speaking of games, the graphics team has helped me add my own spins to some of my favorite board games, rather than simply replicating the concepts. Students across the US are playing Oranges to Oranges, Vocab-Categories, Guess The Word and other games for which they may feel nostalgia –and having fun and learning vocabulary while doing so.

Empower- Finally, my author interviews with Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, and Andrea Cremer hopefully are empowering you and your students to see vocabulary as the way to become better writers and readers.  Their ideas in their interviews, along with their phenomenal books, always empower me to want to do a better job in the classroom, in the library and in my personal life.

Again, I hope everyone has grown as an instructor this year, and I’m glad you are on the journey with me.

 

My best,

Vocab Gal Sarah

 

 

 

Common-Core-Standards Common Core State Standards:

Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts.
Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words.
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning.
Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge.

 

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