Today, I’m sharing a few vocabulary activities to use right away in your classroom. Last summer I took a grad class all about vocabulary and comprehension instructional strategies. I remember being thrilled to have so many new ideas. I could not wait to try them ALL out. Then the first week of school rolled around (whirlwind!) and next thing you know it was December.
My students scores on our benchmark assessments were low in two areas. Which two? You guessed it, vocabulary and comprehension. I knew something had to change. What about all my fabulous ideas? Well I don’t know about you but the last thing I want to do in the middle of the school year is pull out a grad textbook. I looked over my notes to refresh my brain about those fantastic strategies I read all about last summer.
I did some leg work and created these easy peasy lemon squeezy vocabulary activity cards to have at my fingertips during my daily guided and shared reading instruction. And now I am here to share a couple of my favorites AND some freebies!
First up is Character match. This is a slight twist on describing a character’s thoughts, feelings and actions but with incorporating vocabulary. Students take the list of vocab words from the story (after they have been introduced to the words and read the text) and organize them based on which part of the character they best fit.
What I love about this activity is that it can be very subjective. NO RIGHT ANSWERS!! Isn’t that the best? It requires students to use their noggins to support their answers with text evidence!
You can pick up this recording sheet FREE. Just DOWNLOAD the product preview here.
Million Dollar Words
Next is a simple activity to motivate students to actually USE the words they have learned into their writing and academic language.
Whenever a students uses one of those posted vocabulary words (there is an option for 6 or 8 words), the whole class yells says “Cha-ching!” and they get to sign the Million Dollar Word Wall. It can just be a piece of scrap paper hanging below the words or may you have them posted on the whiteboard so they can write with a dry erase marker which we all know is super special.
This gives students an incentive to use the words and we know if they start using them they are more likely to incorporate into their mental vocab bank. AND the rest of the class has to be on top of it by staying mindful of those 6-8 words!
If you are interested in picking up the 20 Vocabulary Activities resource, click here or on the picture below.