There’s no better way to kill a student’s interest than giving them a long list of vocabulary words to memorize. Instead, try this activity to help students remember words and their meanings.
- 2 slices of plain white paper for each student
- colored pencils or markers
- dictionary or text book with glossary for each student
- Write vocabulary words on the board, if possible, two words for each student.
- Give each student 2 slices of plain white paper.
- Space colored pencils throughout the room, accessible to each student.
- As students copy all words from the board, assign two words to each student.
Students will make a small poster for each of their two assigned words. The poster must include:
- the word (preferably in the center)
- the definition
- a picture or symbol clearly showing what the word means
- a sentence clearly showing an understanding of the word’s meaning. I recommend having students clear their sentence with you before putting it on the poster.
An ‘A’ poster possesses the following characteristics:
- It’s colorful, neat, attractive, and uses space wisely.
- The word is used correctly in a sentence.
- The picture shows meaning clearly.
- The definition is correct.
- All words are spelled correctly and punctuation is correct.
This creative lesson plan activity helps students become familiar with a large amount of words in a short amount of time, using visual learning skills:
- Give each student one finished posters (not their own).
- Instruct students to study each word for 45 seconds, writing down the definition if they choose. Although they don’t have to write it down, I encourage it by letting them use their notes on the vocabulary quiz. Students may also choose to write a positive comment on the back, or they can correct spelling and grammatical errors, if necessary.
- Every 45 seconds, yell, “pass” and students will pass their word to the next student. WARNING: be sure to provide a detailed explanation of how the passing process works; otherwise, you’ll have chaos. In addition, no matter how clear your explanation, at least one person will screw it up the first time. Be patient.
- When all words have been passed or a predetermined number of words have been passed, collect the posters and hang them on the wall.
- Give a multiple choice quiz. I prefer to hang the posters up and let them scan the room. That way I trick them into reviewing vocabulary.
- Hang up words with correct grammar and spelling only. If someone’s feelings are hurt, let them redo it.
- Show off how great you are when parents and administrators come to your room.
This post is part of the series: Learning Styles
- Fun Language Arts Review Lesson Plan
- Literary Terms Lesson Plan: Teaching to Different Learning Styles
- Teaching Tips – Vocabulary Lesson Plans
- Creative Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Poster
- A Vocabulary Lesson Plan for Normal People