Play and Learn
Thinking of an interactive and effective way to teach vocabulary to your fourth grade students? Let them play a variety of paired or group games that they will surely love. Here are some vocabulary games that will allow students to brainstorm, analyze, simulate, or draw as they learn new words - the enjoyable way.
This classic trivia game on TV can be tailored-fit according to your topic. You may incorporate the use of context clues as you present a trivia question with an unfamiliar word in the same sentence. Let the students answer the trivia first (they love questions that appeal to their interests), then ask them to give the meaning of the unfamiliar word. With this strategy you're shooting two birds with one stone - they enrich their vocabulary by using context clues, and they get to broaden their knowledge on general information topics as they answer the trivia questions. There are plenty of Jeopardy Game templates available on the Web.
This game allows students to remember or learn new words by visualizing how the definition can be put into sketches, thus helping them grasp a clearer understanding of the concept. The class may be divided into two groups, and a representative for each group draws pictures that illustrate the word. His or her group mates try to guess the word by studying the drawings, and they also give the meaning of the word.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
This is another famous game on TV that can be adopted in teaching vocabulary. In this game, the unfamiliar word is used in a sentence, and the students make use of context clues to find the meaning of the word. This can be played in class by dividing them into two groups. A buzzer is provided for each group in order to signal which contestant is granted the chance to state the answer. As each student successfully answers the questions, the number of points (represented as money) also increases. The ultimate goal of each player is to get a million dollars in order to win the game. There are downloadable Who Wants to be a Millionaire Game templates found on the Web.
After learning a set of new words, the students may play this game to recall their definitions. The class is divided into two groups, and a representative is chosen by each group to act out the words from their vocabulary list. It is not enough that they have memorized the words in the list; they must also be able to visualize and act out each word for better retention. This game appeals to visual and kinesthetic learners.