7 strategies for dynamic vocabulary instruction.

Although I have strayed from powering through vocabulary, here are seven tips from eleven years of teaching:

  1. Try to create student-centered lists. Ask students to chose words they do not know. Source material could be current literature study, or lists from Quizlet or SAT prep sites like College Board.
  2. Embed three to five modes of learning the words before assessment beyond copying the definitions and etymologies
  3. drawing symbols for each word,
  4. class conversations generating real world examples of the word (such as movies, history, literature, pop culture, etc) this is tremendously effective
  5. writing sentences,
  6. building sentences into narratives or poems
  7. crossword puzzles
  8. acrostic poems highlighting meaning,
  9. Balderdash,
  10. matching with cards
  11. mad libs with parts of speech (derived from vocabulary word lists)

I would like to hear other examples from readers.


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