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Tips to Help Students Develop Vocabulary

written by: Julia Bodeeb • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 8/2/2012

There are many projects to help students learn new vocabulary words. Go through the entire list of projects so that you offer something to interest everyone. Monitor all scores and encourage students to improve.

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    Words That Relate to a Specific Region of the Country

    While reading literature from a certain region of the country, hold a vocabulary project about words that relate to that state or region. Create a graphic of the state and inside it put a list of the vocabulary words for students to learn. Let students know there will be an upcoming vocabulary quiz.

    Vocabulary Team Quiz

    Give students a list of vocabulary words that relate to recent world events. Give them a week to learn the words. Let the class know that there will be a team project of a quiz about the words. The class will divide into two groups and sit with desks facing each other. Each group will have index cards with the words and definitions on them. The groups will ask each other the meaning of each word. If the first team member cannot define the word the next person on the team will try and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the quiz will win prizes such as a homework pass, tickets to an event at school or other prizes.

    Fill in the Blanks Contest

    Photocopy a short story and use correction fluid to remove certain words. Put a line where the word appeared. Then give students a list of vocabulary words to be used in this assignment. Allow them a few days to learn the words. Then have students sit in groups and read through the story and figure out which of the vocabulary words will fill in the blanks. They will put the letter that corresponds to the words on the vocabulary list in the spot where the word is missing. The team that gets the most words correct will win a prize for each member. Popular prizes include writing journals, pencils with sayings on them, and homework passes.

    Words That Relate to Love

    Draw a graphic of a heart and then place vocabulary words that relate to love inside the heart graphic. While reading a short story that relates to love, give students the list of vocabulary words. Assign a vocabulary quiz. Then tell students to write their own short story about love using at least ten of the vocabulary words from the list. Give students extra credit if they bring in a printed version of a poem attached to a heart made out of poster board. Then put all the hearts with poems up on the bulletin board to display during this week of reading literature about love.

    Great Moments in Sports

    Find some great pictures of fabulous moments from sports.Make a collage of the pictures. Then add a vocabulary list of words that relate to athletics below the pictures.Tell students to bring in a copy of any great sports photos they have and create a bulletin board. Then hold a competition to see who earns the highest score on a vocabulary quiz. Give something that relates to sports as a small prize for highest score.

    Monitor Students' Scores

    To assess student progress with vocabulary development, average their scores on recent vocabulary quizzes and projects. Then meet with students to discuss their progress. Give students whose score is low tips to help develop vocabulary skills via reading the newspaper, reading articles online, and subscribing to vocabulary websites that provide one new vocabulary per day on the website.

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