Thursday, July 11, 2013

Active Vocabulary Practice {Word Nerds Book Study}

Chapter 5 of Word Nerds: Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary hosted by Sabra at Teaching With a Touch of Twang
 See other posts here: Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3, Ch 4, Ch 5, Ch 6, Ch 7

Chapter 5 is all about creating enthusiasm while actively practicing new words. Balance sticking to your routine with trying out new activities to keep students interested.

Whole Group Ideas

      1. Scramble
      While students are wearing their vocabulary lanyards, randomly call out "Scramble!" The kids have to get up and create a human concept map with those wearing related words - all the synonyms and antonyms grouped together with their main word.
      2. Counting Dude, Bragging Dude
      Have students wear their vocab lanyards. Divide them into two groups - "Bragging" and "Counting".  Then they meet in pairs with one of each and introduce themselves pretending that they are their word. The "Bragging Dude" must make a 7 word sentence using their word. The "Counting Dude" must determine if the sentence is long enough and whether they used the word correctly or not. If yes, Bragging Dude gets to do a quiet cheer, happy dance, etc..  :-)   Then they switch roles.
      3. Word Charades
      Students work in a small group to act out a word while the rest of the class guesses. Other variations can include skits or freezing in place while the others guess.
      4. Vocabulary Rap
       Play some fun hip-hop music and have students rap words, synonyms, and antonyms. You could try some like, "When I say ______, you say ________[synonym]." Or have students make up their own to share.
      5. Chain Link
      Have students wear their vocabulary lanyards. Select one student to stand in front of the class, pronounce the word and say its meaning. The rest of the class thinks of a way to make a connection between their word and the first student's word.  When some hands are raised, call on a student to explain their link. If it makes sense, they get to join the first child and link elbows. The next student can link their word with either the first or second vocabulary term. Continue until all the children are linked up. For an added challenge, try to link the first and last words!

      Small Group & Independent Ideas

      1. Vocabulary Board Games
      You can use an editable board game template and type the vocabulary words in the spaces or use a regular board and have students draw a vocab word from a stack when they land on a space. Have students roll dice or use a spinner to make moves. When they land on a space, they must use the word in a 7-word sentence or give an antonym or synonym. Lots of possibilities here!
      2. Vocabulary Rings
      These are student created flash cards made from index cards stored on a binder ring. On the front of the card is the word and a picture. On the back is a 7-word sentence using the term. The cards can be used as a review tool, you could ask students to sort them by theme, or have children line up cards according to clues and then check their work.
      3. Word Colors
      Have students think about a personal experience or connection to a word in the current vocabulary cycle. Then have them select one color they think symbolizes that word. On the front of an index card, they write the word in marker and then shade the background in their chosen color. On the back they explain why the color represents that particular word.
      4. Word Illustrations
      Here students use the letters of their vocabulary words to create a drawing that represents the meaning of the term.
      5. Power Point Portrayals
      Students create a brief power point that demonstrates the meaning of the word and makes a connection.

      These are all fantastic ideas and I'm sure there are a TON more out there so that our students don't get bored with the same practice over and over. (Here's my Vocabulary Board on Pinterest where I'll be posting ideas to refer to if you want to follow along.)
          How do you help your students remember vocabulary terms? I'd love some links to some websites or blog posts so I can add them to my board!


          1. Another fabulous post! And I got my lanyards today... SO EXCITED! Thanks for linking up!

            Teaching with a Touch of Twang

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