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How to Register a Student for School
Historically, school registration has involved visiting the school to access forms, then filling them out and returning them either by mail or in person. The Internet has streamlined this process, making it possible to register a student for school online in many cases.
Overview of School Registration
School registration varies for each school and depending on the grade level, but generally this process will involve providing proof of the student’s identity and birth date, proof of residency, information about any special needs and details about custody (if applicable).
You’ll have registration forms to complete, which will include details about vaccinations, health exams and family information.
Registration generally involves paying a fee to the school as well.
Registering for Various Grades
Primary, middle and high school registrations tend to differ from college registrations due to the difference in learning institutions. Parents will be involved with registration, possibly discussing class placement, athletics, special needs, dietary restrictions and more. If you don’t provide all the necessary documents at the time of registration, the process won’t be finalized.
College registration often occurs fully online with students completing online forms and submitting fees via the Internet.
The Online School Register Process
To proceed through an online school registration process, navigate to your child’s school website and find the link that leads to the online school forms. The school may separate registration links for new and returning students, in which case you’ll choose the link that’s appropriate for your child.
If your child is a new student, you will probably need to create an account by entering an email address, choosing a password, entering your contact information and choosing a couple of security questions. From there, you’ll be able to log in to access, complete and submit the online registration forms. The process may also involve entering payment information to pay a registration fee.
If you have questions about registration, look on your school’s website for contact information for school administrators. You may find a phone number to the registration office or an email to use to reach out with your questions.
Learn about the enrollment and registration process in advance to ensure that you complete the process in a timely manner. Schools may offer open enrollment and preregistration options for students, which can enable you to complete the process in advance. This can be ideal, especially if you want to enroll your student in accelerated learning or sports.
Expect the school to withhold scheduling ability and issuing of materials or equipment until you fully complete the registration paperwork and pay the fees.
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5 Brain-Based Vocabulary Activities for the Secondary Classroom
Trying to find some new practice activities for your existing vocabulary units? These brain-based vocabulary approaches are unique — perhaps just what you need.
Do your students smile at you when you begin a vocabulary lesson? Do they act interested or ask questions? Are they willing to try using the words in their own speaking and writing? Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I’m “on” with my vocabulary instruction, my students are, too. They’re into it, learning, and motivated. In contrast, when I rush through vocabulary instruction because of time constraints, lack of preparation, or simply lack of enthusiasm, my students can read me like an open book.
Previously, I wrote about increasing vocabulary retention in the secondary classroom. Retention is ultimately the goal of vocabulary instruction, but in order to get there, teachers need to differentiate their instruction and practice activities to reach all types of learners, which includes adding variety through learning styles and critical thinking levels. While I provided a few ideas regarding how students can interact with vocabulary words in the last post, I’d like to get more specific and explore several unique and creative avenues that teachers can incorporate into their curriculums. I teach ELA, but these brain-based vocabulary ideas can apply to word lists from any content area.
BRAIN-BASED VOCABULARY LEARNING
3 truths and a lie.
Games are fun. If your classroom culture calls for games, engagement, and student-directed learning, try out 3 truths and a lie. The best part about this game (other than the fact that it’s enjoyable) is that students create it. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE making games to use my classroom . Yet, vocabulary is a perfect vehicle for students to be in charge of their learning, to create something meaningful.
Put students in charge.
I simply ask them to select a word from their list and then to write down four statements about that word. I encourage them to think about the word’s part of speech, the definition, related and unrelated words, associations they may have, and the word’s personality. One of the statements they write should be a lie.
Here’s an example:
- Ubiquitous is kind of like the plague. Even if you don’t like it, you can’t get rid of it.
- Ubiquitous is an adverb.
- Ubiquitous is cousins with the words “pervasive” and “universal.”
- If cockroaches were ubiquitous, I’d move to Mars.
Your students can get as creative (or as simplistic) as they want with their sentences. After creating them, collect the statements, and put students in small groups. Have them discuss the words and statements to try to identify the lie ( in the example above, the lie is #2 ). If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your students’ sentences and want to avoid unnecessary confusion, read through them first and have students work in groups to discuss them the next day.
Why this works:
1. Students are doing the thinking.
2. It can be straightforward (recall) or higher-order thinking (analytical), so it’s differentiated by nature.
3. It’s engaging.
4. Students will remember many of the lies and the truths, so it will help them to retain the word meanings longer.
Bumper words is a categorizing activity that helps students to learn the relationships between words on their list. If you plan to use a bumper words activity, keep that in mind when selecting your word list so that it’s easier to create the assignment. Here’s how it works.
You (the teacher) group the words into categories. You can make this into a worksheet or a graphic organizer, or you can just write them on the board to use as a class activity. Another option is to create a manipulative for small groups or station use. When you put the words into groups (of 3 to 5 is best), all of the words should relate except for one . The students’ job is to figure out which word is not related, and they bump it to the next word group. It’s a chain effect. Here’s an example:
As you can see, in the first group of words, abase, demean, and humiliate can all be related, but extol does not fit. So, it gets bumped to group two, where students look for another ill-fitting word that is then bumped to group 3, and so on. When creating this activity, you can use words that are not on your vocabulary list to complement the ones that are.
Again, if you want to ask your students to think more critically about their words, you can ask them to create a bumper words chain using all or some of the words on their list. This works well as a group assignment. Students could create their bumper words combinations on a piece of easel paper or large poster board, and then groups can rotate around the room to try to solve each other’s puzzles. If you choose to have students create their own examples, it would be beneficial to show them how to make one by modeling it together or analyzing an existing example first.
1. Students are thinking about the words and how they relate to other words, thereby making associations – great for brain-based vocabulary learning!
2. Once again, this activity can be differentiated by ability level.
3. It engages students in meaningful interaction with their words.
4. It’s unique…your students probably haven’t heard of this one before. Ride the novelty wave.
Personify a Word Using Social Media
Because social media is such a pervasive aspect of twenty-first century learning, I’m always looking for healthy ways to incorporate it in my classroom. One of the things I love about teaching vocabulary is that it can be creative. Words can be given personalities based on their meaning. I often ask students to personify a word in order to get them to think about it differently.
Here are four of my favorite assignments that include word personalities using social media:
- Facebook : Have students create a Facebook poster based on one of the words on their list.
- Twitter : Ask students to create a Twitter profile and feed for a word.
- Instagram : Students can create a scrapbook or Instagram posts for their word.
- Pinterest : Give students the task of creating a Pinterest profile for a word, including a list of boards and pins that would relate to that word.
When I give students assignments like these, I find it’s beneficial to allow them to choose a word they want to learn after discussing what they will do with it. I always encourage students to select a new word…one they either have never heard of, or one they have heard of but cannot explain. By discussing the task before selecting the word, students will be able to choose a word they want to use to complete the assignment, and ownership is key when it comes to creativity.
Some struggling readers and writers might be overwhelmed if we ask them to select any word they want, so it’s a great differentiation / scaffolding option to have a list of suggestions prepared.
Why this works:
1. In order to do any of these assignments WELL, students must think deeply and meaningfully about the word.
2. Students will take it upon themselves to analyze the social media outlet more closely than they have in the past. What text structures does it have? What is the common language and culture of the site? These questions must be studied and answered before creating a product.
3. It hooks students by allowing them to utilize their creativity and social natures to learn about vocabulary.
4. It is easy to incorporate technology. While students can create a poster like the one above, they could also use digital platforms to complete the assignment.
Pictures, Short Films, & Music
A fun way to incorporate writing into your brain-based vocabulary instruction is through the use of pictures, short films, and music. They can all be used similarly for this assignment. Although numerous options exist, these three ideas are a good place to start:
1. Simply ask students to do some research and find a certain number of pictures, short films, or songs that relate to words on their vocabulary list. You could have them focus specifically on one word and find a picture, a short film, and a song that relates to it, or you could ask them to choose ten words off the list and find one connection for each word. Either way, students are building onto existing knowledge about a word and using critical thinking skills to make meaningful connections. I like to have my students write a short paragraph (3-5 sentences) explaining their connections to the word.
Another way to use these elements is to incorporate them as bell ringers. Each day, begin the class by projecting an image, showing a short film, or playing a song for students. After watching or listening, ask students to make connections between the artwork and words on their vocabulary list. To elicit more participation, I have my students write their thoughts first, then talk with a partner, and finally share with the class.
Give your students a sheet of small images (I like to using small pictures they can color), and tell them to match each picture to a word on their vocabulary list. They can then explain in a few short sentences why each picture and word relate. Simple but effective. Here is a resource you can use for any list.
1. Music, movies, and pictures are embedded in our culture. Students appreciate learning opportunities that incorporate media relevant to their lives.
2. This assignment is a simple way to differentiate by learning styles. It appeals to students who are musical and visual by nature.
3. Once again, forming connections to vocabulary words will help students remember them longer.
4. It can be scaffolded for students on various scales of the literacy ladder.
I use mind maps as choice assignments throughout the year with various aspects of my curriculum. Mind maps are excellent brain-based vocabulary . activities that help students retain the definition of a word instead of memorizing it for a quiz and forgetting it.
When I assign mind maps in relation to vocabulary words, I generally have students select one word from our list instead of several because the connections will be more meaningful for them.
A good tip is to first ask students to circle any words on their vocabulary list that they cannot define on the spot — in that moment. Afterward, have them choose one word they want to study more intentionally, and then introduce the mind map assignment. If you give them the specifics of the assignment first, they might be more likely to select an “easy” word from the list.
I like to project example mind maps (you can easily find some by googling the term “vocabulary mind maps”). Together, we analyze the structure, design, and content of the example maps to determine students’ options. We also talk about my expectations (what’s acceptable and what’s not). In this way, we essentially develop a student-generated rubric on the spot. Bonus.
What can students incorporate in their mind maps? I encourage mine to use the basics (relate it to synonyms, antonyms, and examples), but I also ask them to stretch their imaginations to incorporate visual components, categories related to the word, colors that symbolize the word, and other symbolic elements.
1. Research shows that mind maps are brain-based learning activities.
2. Thinking symbolically about a word helps students to deepen their understanding of it.
3. Mind maps require students to engage with a word meaningfully from different angles for an extended period of time.
4. It combines right-brain creative style learning with left-brain logic style learning, resulting in a powerful and memorable experience.
Inspired and wanting more vocabulary ideas? Read this sister post in which I discuss five more of my favorite, brain-based vocabulary practice activities for the secondary classroom .
Grab a Free Template!
You might find this free, editable vocabulary template to be helpful in getting started.
Before using any of these brain-based vocabulary strategies in your classroom, you will need to establish a solid list of words. For some inspiration regarding how to strategically and effectively select word lists, click on over to Lauralee at Language Arts Classroom . She has some insights to share with you!
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An avid reader and writer, I've had the privilege of teaching English for over a decade and am now an instructional coach. I have degrees in English, Curriculum & Instruction, and Reading as well as a reading specialist certification. In my free time, I enjoy loving on my kids, deconstructing sentences, analyzing literature, making learning fun, working out, and drinking a good cup of coffee.
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Five Ways to make Teaching High School Vocabulary Fun and Interesting
Teachers face a variety of challenges on a day-to-day basis, but perhaps their biggest challenge is helping students become successful. A struggling student or struggling group of students is often blamed on the instructor or the instructor’s teaching. One way to ensure that all students experience the same levels of success is finding more innovative, engaging ways to teach in order to facilitate student participation in topics that might not be the most fun to learn. For instance, while high school vocabulary might not seem like the most interesting subject for students, learning new words and their meanings is essential to any student’s education.
But how does a teacher go about engaging students in learning high school vocabulary – a subject that students may not be the most passionate about? There are a variety of different methods teachers can deploy aside from the textbook and test method. Here’s a look at five high school vocabulary teaching methods that are fun, interesting and sure to engage students.
After teachers put students through the typical curriculum (i.e., learn the word and what it means), it’s time to engage students in fun, lighthearted activities that will help them retain the information. One such activity is vocabulary bingo. Have the students make bingo cards, placing words they just learned in the various places on the card. Then, read the definitions of the word. If the students have that word, they’ll color in the box on their cards where it exists. This helps students put the definition with the word itself. Teachers can also reward students who complete bingo with prizes or extra credit points.
The goal of teaching vocabulary is to expand a student’s word knowledge. One way to do this is by encouraging students to use vocabulary words in their lives. This is where word charting comes in. Teachers can encourage students to do this outside of the classroom while they’re at home. For instance, if students have just been taught the word “cacophony,” which means discordant sounds, encourage them to look for real-life scenarios to use it. Have students chart when they used it to describe something in their lives. For instance, a student may drop a dish on top of another dish in the sink and use “cacophony” to describe the sound it made. Give extra credit or prizes to the students that chart the most vocabulary words over a certain time in their proper contexts.
Another way to make teaching vocabulary more fun is to have students create a short story or screenplay using the words they’ve just learned. Teachers can also make this a final project or midterm project. Typically, this will go over much better than a final exam, and students will be more willing to engage and get creative with such a task, especially if a large portion of their grade depends on it.
To piggyback off the previous point, another way for students to better retain words is to have them write songs using them. This is also a project that will get the creative juices flowing with students. Break them up into groups and have them write lyrics with their new words in context of their definitions. Be sure to also offer extra credit for students who go above and beyond just writing lyrics, such as for groups that actually put music with their songs or record them to play them back to the rest of the class. Writing poetry with newly learned words is another option that could fall within this category.
Games have proved to be a better way to engage students and help them retain information in the classroom. And one game that could apply to new vocabulary words is Pictionary. Have students divide into groups and then diagram word definitions as best as they can, as their peers attempt to guess them. Another game might consist of students acting out words in short skits for classmates to guess. Such games are fun and are sure to produce a lot of laughs as students learn new words.
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7 Effective Vocabulary-Building Activities
“I love the taste of words. They have a taste and a weight and a colour as well as a sound and a shape.”
A 2008 article from The Washington Post showed how “ Students Dig Deep for Words’ Origins .” The article noted that Phil Rosenthal was one of the few high-school instructors in the United States teaching an etymology course. According to Rosenthal, students take the class because they want to brush up on their vocabulary skills before taking the ACT or SAT, and/or because they have a genuine interest in the history of words. (It was also reported that a few students sign up for the course thinking they will be studying insects.)
This article brought to mind my failed attempt at introducing middle-school students to the study of words. I took too much ownership of the unit. If I had approached word study as a process of shared inquiry, my students and I would have had a much more meaningful experience.
Here’s what we know about vocabulary development: There is a strong connection between a student’s vocabulary and his or her reading ability. The same is true for a student’s ability to listen, speak, and write. In fact, we now recognize that each person actually has four vocabularies, one each for reading, listening, speaking, and writing (listed here from largest to smallest). Obviously, there is much overlap, but students will always be able to recognize more words than they can produce.
In addition, giving students long lists of vocabulary words with little or no context is not an effective way to teach vocabulary; students must be actively involved in word study for it to mean anything to them. Simply put, if students don’t use the words they are studying, those words will not become part of the students’ “producing” vocabulary. To develop an effective vocabulary program, consider the following types of student-friendly activities:
Previewing in context.
- Select 5-6 words from a chapter or selection students are about to read.
- Have students turn to the page in which each word is located. Ask the students to read the word in context and try to figure out its meaning.
- Have students write down what they think each word means.
- Discuss possible meanings and arrive at a definition in this context.
- Have students collect interesting words from different sources, preferably non-school sources.
- Have students identify each word and the context in which it is used.
- Next, have them analyze the word using its context, word parts, and dictionary definitions.
- Divide the class into eight groups, and have each group research one of the Indo-European language groups (Albanian, Armenian, Balto Slavic, and so on).
- Afterward, have each group present their findings to the class. (Let the groups choose how they want to present their findings.)
See minilesson for "Discovering Word Origins (Etymology)."
Prefix, Suffix, Root Study
- Assign students 3-4 word parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots) each week.
- Give students strategies for learning these word parts.
- Assign students one word part daily. As you take roll, have students write the word part, the definition, a sample word, and a sentence using the word.
- Then have them brainstorm for familiar words that will help them remember the meaning of each word part.
- Challenge them to combine the word parts they have studied into as many words as possible (perhaps in 5 minutes’ time or as a challenge assignment for the next day). Special cards can be used for this purpose.
- Also challenge them to create “new” words using the word parts they have learned. To qualify, a new word should make sense and might be actually used.
- Ask students to share their new words; partners should try to guess what each one means.
Special Note: Thoughtful Learning's writing handbooks contain extensive lists of prefixes, suffices, and roots.
Word Sleuthing I
- On a regular basis, present students with a list of five or six mostly familiar words that contain the same root, prefix, or suffix. (Make the last one or two more challenging than the other words.)
Note: For extra credit, encourage students to provide some of these lists of words.
Word Sleuthing II
- Provide students, on their own or in pairs, a word to investigate on the Internet. They should try to find as much as they can about the word, starting with its etymology. Instruct them to find information about the word from at least _________ sources (you determine the number) in addition to online dictionaries.
- After their research, have students present their findings to the class. (Let students choose how they want to present their findings.)
- For an end-of-the-week activity, have students, on their own or in pairs, be ready with pen and paper. Then give them 3-5 minutes to list as many words as they can containing a particular prefix or root. (Suffixes may not work as well.)
- The winner is the individual or team listing the most words. (But make sure that each word is real.)
Reading is far and away the primary way for students to build their vocabularies, so encourage them to read all sorts of print and online materials. Along with that, employ a variety of activities (like the ones above) to help students appreciate the richness of the language. The combination should produce positive results.
Want more vocabulary-building activities?
- Explore 12 Vocabulary Activities for High School !
Click to find out more about this resource.
The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.
21 ideas for teaching vocabulary.
I’m sharing 21 ideas for teaching vocabulary. You may not be able to use all of them, but I hope you can find some ideas that will work well for you!
I’ve shared books about vocabulary instruction , as well as the theory and techniques . This post is a lot more practical. We’re all about ideas today!
I’m sharing the bare bones of the ideas here.
I’m adding lengthier explanations for some of them with more tips and fleshed-out instructions on my website devoted just to vocabulary instruction, VocabularyLuau .
You’ll see that option at the end of the idea if it’s available.
IDEA #1: Semantic Maps
In this activity, the teacher chooses a word and displays it for the class on a whiteboard, etc.
Students read the word and then think of words that come to mind when they see that word (this is awesome because it activates prior learning).
A list is created of all of the words that come to mind, and then those words are categorized.
This can be done as a whole class or in small groups.
Students then create a “map” using a graphic organizer and discuss it. Additional or substitute categories can be suggested.
As students read through the text, they can add related words to the map.
Want more details on this strategy? Get the step-by-step on VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #2: Eye Spy
Give students a list of words to search for in a text or have them find unfamiliar words.
You can award points to the words based on different criteria (longest new word, word with most consonants, etc.).
Invest in a set of inexpensive dollar store magnifying glasses to make this more game-like.
This is a great pre-reading activity.
Want more details on this strategy? Get the step-by-step on VocabularyLuau.
IDEA #3: Making Choices
Students show their understanding of vocabulary by saying the word when it applies, or remaining silent when it doesn’t.
For example: “Say radiant if any of these things would make someone look radiant.” -Winning a million dollars. -Earning a gold medal. -Walking to the post office. -Cleaning your room. -Having a picture you painted hung in the school library.
(This idea is from the book Bringing Words to Life , recommended in the books section.)
This is one of the key strategies teachers need in introducing new vocabulary. Because of that, I’ve written extensively and given a dozen examples from different texts for Kinder through 12th grade on VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #4: Sorting Hat
Use a Harry Potter theme to have students sort words into categories. They can pull them out of a hat.
If you give them the categories, it’s called a “closed sort.” If they come up with their own categories, it’s called “open sort.”
This one is so, so fun. I explain lots more about how to do it on VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #5: Word Pairs
Give students words in pairs and have them evaluate if the words are the same, opposite, go together, or are unrelated.
This strategy is terrific for building critical thinking skills along with the vocabulary.
Get even more details and variations at VocabularyLuau .
(adapted from Word Power: What Every Educator Needs to Know about Teaching Vocabulary )
IDEA #6: Linear Array
In this strategy, students use a graphic organizer that is a rectangle, three ovals, and then another rectangle, all in a line.
The word in question goes in the rectangle on the far left.
The rectangle on the far right is filled in with a word that is the opposite.
The center three ovals are filled in with words that go from the far left to the far right, gradually become less similar until they reach the opposite.
For example, microscopic, tiny, small, bigger, large.
You can see examples of the graphic organizer, more details, and lots of variations on VocabularyLuau .
(adapted from Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4 – 12 )
IDEA #7: Games
Many “real” games work well for vocab play and practice. Games such as Balderdash , Taboo , Scrabble , Blurt , Bananagrams , word bingo, and others are fun.
There are online games as well, such as Scholastic’s Synonym Toast .
[Note: I am a notoriously horrible Scrabble player, and every time I play I think, “English teachers should be better at this.” It’s not my favorite.]
IDEA #8: Scavenger Hunt
Have a word scavenger hunt in books, magazines, articles on the net, or in the school or home.
Don’t just go for numbers; go for unusual words, academic vocabulary, weird spellings, homophones, etc.
IDEA #9: Word Wheel
Copy and paste this image onto a sheet of cardstock and make a vocab spinner game. EisforExplore shares the whole idea here.
IDEA #10: Vocabulary Photo Album
Using a simple, inexpensive photo album, students create a visual glossary of key words.
I’ve got pictures of examples, details, and more ideas at VocabularyLuau , if you’d like to read more.
IDEA #11: Tally
Use tally marks to track words you’re trying to practice.
Mark whenever the teacher says the word in context, and mark twice when a student does.
Alternatively, you can have the tally marks be even, but play the teacher versus the class.
There’s so much more to this strategy. Learn more about how tally marks can help you teach vocabulary at VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #12: Vocabulary Relay
Print out words on one set of cards (copy this set a few times) and definitions, context, or sentences in which they could be used (fill-in-the-blank) on another set (just one set).
Jumble up the words in a pile in the middle of the floor, and jumble up the definitions, context, and sentences to keep with you. Break students into teams of five-ish.
Call out the definition/context/sentence and give students some think time (8 – 10 seconds) to talk about what word it might be.
After the discussion time, call out “Word!” One member from each team runs to the center and tries to find the word in the pile.
I like having multiple sets of the words so more than one team can get it.
Check to make sure they’re correct, and then discuss it briefly before the next round.
Note: I got this idea from another teacher’s site, but I cannot for the life of me remember where. I have searched Google for it, and can’t find it. A small prize to the person who can figure out the originator of the idea!
I’ve written quite a bit about it here, but I’ve written more (and have lots of pictures of it in play) at VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #13: Vocabulary Category Relay
This is a different relay activity than the one above, even though the names are so similar.
In this version, teams of students race to fill in words responsive to a category that start with the letters of the alphabet in order.
This can be done individually, in groups, or even as a whole class. It’s also a good one for both digital and in-person instruction.
When I wrote about it on VocabularyLuau , I shared these score sheets for digital use, as well as printable versions.
IDEA #13: Comic Strip Word Activity
I got the idea for using comic strips from This Reading Mama .
In some ways, it’s really a modified Frayer model.
I loved it so much that I started making them like crazy. It turns out that they let me get a clear glimpse into how well the students had mastered the word.
I have an entire article about this, filled with loads of ideas and resources at VocabularyLuau .
You can check out that article here (or click the image below).
IDEA #14: Paper Plate Vocab
I love this inexpensive matching game from Finding Joy in Fifth Grade , and I think students could create it themselves.
IDEA #15: Heads Up Vocabulary Game
Students hold a word on a card in front of their foreheads. The students don’t know what words they have.
Students ask each other a series of questions to determine the meaning of their word. Or, students can give students clues to the person with the word to help that person guess the word.
This is a review activity, and it’s not for initial instruction.
It’s such a favorite that I wrote a very comprehensive article about it on VocabularyLuau . There’s even a hack for printing on Post-it notes!
IDEA #16: Word Sneak
Word Sneak is a game invented by Jimmy Fallon that he plays with guests on the Tonight Show.
In the game, Jimmy and the guest each get a stack of cards with words on them that they have to work into the conversation naturally (without sounding forced or stilted).
It’s hysterical to watch and fun to play.
It’s also a great way to learn different ways to approach a word.
It’s so much fun that when I wrote the article about in on VocabularyLuau , I also included a Tonight Show backdrop you can use in class to give it an even more “real” feel.
IDEA #17: Frayer Model
The Frayer Model is an oldie-but-goodie vocab activity model in which student work in multiple ways in a specifically laid out graphic organizer to engage with words.
This is such a must-know that I wrote a (very lengthy and detailed) plan for how to use it at VocabularyLuau .
It includes downloads and printables and digital versions, as well as exactly how (and why) to use this strategy.
If you are not familiar with it, please do yourself a solid and read more .
IDEA #18: Tweet
Have students create a “tweet” that a word would send out or with the word in the tweet in context.
You can use a tool like PrankmeNot or Siminator to make it look real.
This strategy is so fun and so useful!
I’ve written about five different ways to do this (with examples) on VocabularyLuau , and I even have this free template for you there:
IDEA #19: Brain Power Words
This is a strong academic vocabulary activity that takes a little bit of time, but would really help get the words past the superficial level of understanding.
- Ask small groups of students to preview sections of a text and identify difficult words.
- For long chapters, assign different sections to different groups.
- Students place a Post-it next to the words in the text they identify as potentially difficult.
- Clues of substitution: A known word would make sense in the context and is probably a good definition.
- Clues of definition: The word is defined in the text (many textbooks do this).
- Clues of opposition: Words “not, unlike” etc. are excellent clues to what a word is not and thus help define the words.
- After the Brain Power Words list is identified and definitions sought, the students check their work with the teacher.
This strategy is from Becky McTague and Margaret Richek (it’s in the book Reading Success for Struggling Adolescent Learners by Susan Lenski and Jill Lewis).
IDEA #20: The Concept Cube
A concept cube is a pattern that is printed on paper or cardstock, cut out, folded, and taped into a three-dimensional cube.
Students write, type, or draw on the pattern prior to assembling the cube, and then they “play” with the cube to explore concepts.
Depending upon the way you choose to use it, they can be similar to a three-dimensional Frayer model .
You can print out a blank cube and have students print the responses below, or complete it online and then print it out.
Before folding, students write clearly in each square following the directions below.
Each student is given one challenging vocabulary word from a recent reading and asked to:
- Write the assigned vocabulary word in one square.
- Write a synonym (word or phrase) in another square.
- Write an antonym (word or phrase) in another square.
- Write a category or categories it could belong to.
- Write the essential characteristics of the concept of this word.
- Give one example.
Cut, fold, and tape the cube.
Roll the cube and read what comes up on the “top”; the student must tell the relationship of that word or phrase to the original word.
After students know their own cube without any errors, they exchange with a peer.
You can get more ideas and details, as well as a free printable, at VocabularyLuau .
IDEA #21: Phone a Friend
Search TeacherspayTeachers or Teachers Notebook for vocabulary activities you can use or adapt.
The beauty of this is that you can search by grade level and subject, so you can focus on what you’re studying.
A caveat to this is that if you create something grade level or content specific, you can share it with other teachers, too.
The Importance of a Variety of Activities
You want to have a variety of activities so that vocabulary instruction doesn’t become routine or boring.
Keeping it fresh with lots of different ways of learning will help students (and the teacher) avoid getting burned out or tired of working with vocabulary.
There’s been so much interest in this that I created an entire website just for vocab ideas called VocabularyLuau .
These 21 activities for teaching vocabulary are just a start. I’d love to know your ideas!
The Vocabulary Series
This post is Part 3 of a four-part series on teaching vocabulary. If you would like to check out the rest of the series, visit the posts below
- Teaching Vocabulary: The books
- Theories & Techniques that work (and don’t)
- 21 Activities for Teaching Vocabulary (this one)
- Ideas for English Language Learners
There’s even a great book for teaching vocabulary!
These ideas work for all vocabulary words.
If your students need to learn vocabulary words and terms that are specific to your content (words like acute angle or latitude or simile or biome ), have I got a book for you!
You know how I know it’s great? I wrote it! I wrote it for teachers just like you from the method I created in my own class with my own students and tested over and over.
You can learn more about it by clicking on the picture of it, or you can read more and see loads of examples here .
If you already know you want it, you can grab a paperback version on Amazon .
Or, if you want a digital copy, you can use the coupon code GIFTEDGURU for 20% off you can…
Do You Like Great Ideas?
If so, I share them in my email o’ goodness that goes out about once a month to thousands of people just like you.
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Note: This content uses referral links. Read my disclosure policy (it’s fascinating) for more info.
- Read more about: Excellent Teaching
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Great Vocabulary Games, Apps, and Sites
Building vocabulary is necessary for fluid reading and writing. But a great vocabulary depends on students getting early, frequent, and sustained exposure to words that expand their horizons. These great vocabulary games, apps, and websites do just that, getting words in front of students in engaging ways, and giving students supports to understand definitions, uses, and meanings. Use these vocabulary tools -- alongside a regular reading habit -- to help students build word knowledge. They feature tech-enabled supports like text-to-speech, customizable flash cards, adaptive instruction, and clever gameplay. There are also resources for teachers to craft activities, lessons, and assessments to keep kids' vocabulary skills on track.
Beck and Bo
Drag-and-drop adventure great for learning new words in context
Bottom Line : Your wee one will enjoy animating Beck and Bo's world while developing creativity and logic.
Endless Wordplay: School Edition
Rhymes, phonetic approach, silly animations help kids construct words
Bottom Line : Good, holistic approach to the nitty gritty of constructing words.
Montessorium: Intro to Words
Well-crafted app helps emerging readers and writers build words
Bottom Line : This app will work best for students who already know their letters and can then work on word building, word play, and letter-sound recognition.
Gamified learning platform for typing, vocabulary, and spelling
Bottom Line : Vocabulary, spelling, and typing platform goes beyond typical rote memorization and practice.
Delightful hip-hop-based site connects literacy to every content area
Bottom Line : This site's content is savvy enough to keep students focused, and teachers will love the flexible options for deepening learning.
Differentiate reading instruction with high-quality texts and lessons
Bottom Line : The quality and scope of texts, lesson plans, assessments, and supports on this platform can help facilitate online or offline targeted reading instruction in nearly any home or classroom.
Versatile word game challenges across content areas and abilities
Bottom Line : Fun game-like way to review spelling or content vocabulary.
Chaotic game offers silly yet novel way to practice English vocab
Bottom Line : An irresistibly fun way for ELLs to practice high-frequency English vocabulary, but as an app it's a bit rough around the edges.
Games, articles, word play make for more than just a dictionary
Bottom Line : This is a great reference site for students to casually play around with language, test their knowledge, or explore to discover something new.
Viral word puzzle sharpens language and thinking skills
Bottom Line : This popular and simplistic word game has potential as a fun vocabulary builder.
World's Worst Pet - Vocabulary
Hip games help kids learn words they'll actually use
Bottom Line : Learn the meaning of vocabulary words through fun games, and put it to good use as part of everyday conversation.
Deep, data-driven vocabulary tool challenges learners
Bottom Line : Membean has the potential to push students and grow their vocabulary while providing teachers with data they'll love.
Vocab-building word puzzles inspire creative problem-solving
Bottom Line : Wide-open problem solving builds creativity, vocabulary, and spelling skills, but controls can be tricky.
Tetris + Boggle + wordsplosions = ultimate language fun
Bottom Line : Puzzlejuice offers kids a fun challenge that incorporates logic and language.
Level up with gamified vocabulary study for middle and high school
Bottom Line : While it's got room to grow, this is a tool worth considering for practicing vocabulary based on Greek and Latin roots.
Wordflex Touch Dictionary
Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting
Bottom Line : Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.
Beautiful, challenging vocab app is quite fun but riddled with ads
Bottom Line : There's no doubt it's fun and features some nice vocab and spelling practice, but spring for the paid version and make sure students play thoughtfully.
Smart, stylish site helps students commit new words to memory
Bottom Line : It's a great, goal-oriented learning resource with the potential to turn vocab lessons into a fun challenge.
SAT Vocab by MindSnacks
Variety is key in charmingly effective SAT vocab app
Bottom Line : Upgrading to the full version gets you great games and a thorough word list for SAT vocab prep.
Watch words branch out into intriguing, layered language maps
Bottom Line : With such a great visual take on the depth of language, more ways to personalize the experience would make it even better.
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vocabulary activities high school
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Brain-Based Vocabulary Activities for High School, Speed Dating, Game, Continuum
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DISTANCE LEARNING: NO PREP High School Vocabulary (4 weeks) - Unit 1
Scattergories HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH Vocabulary Game ELA
Also included in: VOCABULARY GAMES High School English Vocabulary Parts of Speech ELA
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AAC Core Vocabulary Activities for TEENS BUNDLE
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Fun Vocabulary Activities for High School
Vocabulary is an essential component of knowledge for high school because of its direct connection to reading and writing. As students prepare for their college-entrance exams, vocabulary becomes even more important to their futures. There are many fun and exciting ways to get your students more engaged in their vocabulary review. Keep in mind that different students learn differently and while a sports-themed game might work well for some, sitting down to quietly list the words might be better for another.
Explore this article
- Vocabulary Baseball
- Illustrated Vocabulary
- Vocabulary Toss
1 Vocabulary Baseball
Divide your classroom into two teams and draw a baseball diamond on your blackboard. Each team has three outs per inning (like regular baseball) and one player from each team goes at a time. You say a word, and the student has 20 seconds to define it. If he defines it in five seconds, the team gets a home run; within 10 seconds, it’s a triple; within 15 seconds, it’s a double; and just before the time limit, it's a single. If the student does not get the definition right, he's out. Draw an icon for a base runner when a student gets a hit. When a player gets to home plate the team scores a run. The team with the most runs at the end of nine innings wins the game.
2 illustrated vocabulary.
Many students find creating vocabulary flash cards boring. One of the reasons is that the activity isn’t very creative. Add to the creativity by having students create illustrated vocabulary flash cards. Have them write the word on one side of the card. On the other, they can create a picture that the word represents for them, plus the definition and other related words. By letting the students draw and connecting the word’s meaning to themselves, educator Eileen Simmons found that the students who stuck with it were extremely successful in understanding their vocabulary.
Have one student sit in the front of the classroom on a chair facing away from the blackboard. On the board you will write a vocabulary word but the person in the front of the room is not allowed to look at it. The student will ask yes or no questions to his classmates to determine what the word might be. The student has 10 questions available until he must guess what the word is. You can make this an individual contest or you can have the class separated into several teams to add a competitive element.
4 Vocabulary Toss
This game requires a chalkboard eraser, or small sponge, and a wastebasket. Divide your class into two teams and have them stand in two single-file lines parallel to each other. This game combines a vocabulary guessing game with a basketball shooting game. Ask the player at the front of one team to define a vocabulary word. If he gets it right, his team gets a point and he has a chance to earn a second point if he makes the eraser into the basket. If he gets the word wrong, the player on the other team has a chance to answer it and shoot the basket. Keep rotating players until everybody gets at least one turn. The team with the most points at the end wins.
- 1 ESL Café: Vocabulary Baseball
- 2 National Writing Project: Visualizing Vocabulary
- 3 Education World: Hot Seat
- 4 Education World: Vocabulary Toss
About the Author
Bryan Cohen has been a writer since 2001 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double degree in English and dramatic art. His writing has appeared on various online publications including his personal website Build Creative Writing Ideas.
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5 Vocabulary Games That Build Content Knowledge
Engaging games support student understanding of subject-specific vocabulary and help ensure retention of content knowledge.
Subject-specific vocabulary goes hand-in-hand with a deep and meaningful knowledge of content. It allows us to engage with that subject, unlocks understanding, and promotes clear and precise communication.
At the end of a topic or unit of work, I like to encourage my students to play with the words they’ve learned. I use five different word-association games that get students to recall, describe, explain, listen, and verbalize the subject-specific vocabulary from that topic or unit of work. In my experience, the lighthearted nature of these games provides students with a fun, safe, and low-stakes environment where they feel more confident to just have a go.
Although the examples I’ve given are specific to my subject (biology) and age group (high school), I hope these games are also applicable to other subjects and student ages and provide engaging ways to help students master vocabulary.
1. From A to Z
How it works: For this five-to-eight-minute game, students work in small groups (two to four) and have to write down a word related to a topic for every letter of the alphabet. For example, if the topic is cells, “A” might be “apoptosis,” “B” might be “binary fission,” “C” might be “cytoplasm,” and so on. For many topics, students might struggle to find a word for every letter (and sometimes you will too). You can support them and/or allow them to get more abstract or silly.
This is great as a starter activity for a lesson that falls at the end of the topic. I like to keep it visible and accessible throughout the lesson for students to add to if inspiration strikes them later on.
Based on the popular board game Articulate, this 10-to-20-minute game (depending on the size of your class) gets students to describe and define key terms.
How it works: Prepare a number of cards containing four words related to a topic or subject and one silly or unrelated word. Students will work in teams of three or four. When it’s the first team’s turn, one student from that team stands at the front. The teacher gives that student a card, and the student has to describe the word to their team without ever saying the word, or variations of the word. I usually allow each team one free pass per round. The number of points that the team gets is equal to the number of words that the team guesses in 30 seconds. Teams rotate and continue until every player has had a turn.
3. Just One
The aim of this 15-to-20-minute game is to get students to make connections between key vocabulary words.
I first played the Just One game with my family and then modified it by making cards specific to vocabulary in my subject so that I could use it in my classroom.
How it works: Prepare a number of cards with five words related to a unit, topic, or subject (sometimes I reuse the ones I use in Articulate). Three to seven students work in a group. One student chooses a number between one and five and turns around, facing away from their classmates.
The first card is shown to the other students in the group, and without conferring, they write down one word (on a mini whiteboard) that relates to the corresponding word on the card. For example, if the clue is “muscle,” possible related words might be “movement,” “skeletal,” or “tissue.” All of the students reveal their mini whiteboards to their group—all except the first student.
If two students have written the same word, both words get erased (this encourages students to think beyond the most obvious links). Finally, the first student turns around to view the remaining words and has one chance to guess what the original word on the card was. Repeat the process with a new student guessing and a new card until everyone has had at least one turn. You can appeal to students’ competitive natures by giving them a score to aim for. So, for a group of five, everyone has two turns, and the aim is to achieve a total score of 7 or more out of 10.
4. Telephone Pictionary
For this 20-to-30-minute game, students use diagrams to explain key vocabulary.
How it works: Create groups of about six to eight students, ideally sitting in a circle. Each student is given a note card or piece of paper with a different phrase or term on it (examples I have used include “human evolution,” “the kidneys” and “cell membrane”).
The student has 30–45 seconds to sketch a picture to represent the phrase or term and then paperclips their sketch over the word so that it isn’t visible to the next student. This picture gets passed on to the next student, who (on a new card or piece of paper) writes a phrase or term that they think was given to the student before them based on the picture drawn. Then they use their sketch to cover the previous one. This continues around the group, alternating between drawing and writing until it returns to the original student.
This is happening simultaneously for all students—so everyone is always doing something. Once the cycle returns to the original student, they lay out all the cards, reveal the original phrase or term, and choose a winning contributor for their round—usually either the most accurate or the funniest one.
5. Mind Meld
This two-to-eight-minute game gets students verbalizing and making links between vocabulary words. It works well at the end of a lesson when you have a couple of spare minutes.
How it works: Students are put into pairs, and on the count of three, they say a word related to a given subject or unit. For example, in the topic “cells,” one student might say “cellulose,” and another student might say “eukaryotic.” On the count of three, they then simultaneously say another word that they think matches the two words just said. Now, one might say “plant” and another might say “cell wall.” This keeps going until both students say the same word at the same time. Words can’t be repeated at any time.
Historically, school registration has involved visiting the school to access forms, then filling them out and returning them either by mail or in person. The Internet has streamlined this process, making it possible to register a student fo...
“Who’s Who Among American High School Students” was a book published yearly by Educational Communications, Inc., or ECI. The book was used to highlight a student’s academic achievement and extracurricular activities.
School teaches students skills they need to succeed on the job and in other areas of life. School also help students achieve a well-rounded knowledge base, which leads to a more enriching life.
Word Personalities · Facebook: Have students create a Facebook poster based on one of the words on their list. · Twitter: Ask students to create a
Games have proved to be a better way to engage students and help them retain information in the classroom. And one game that could apply to new
Three Idiom Explorations · Idiom Safari helps students find idioms "in the wild," as they are currently used on the Internet. · Literal Idioms asks students to
Vocabulary-Building Activities · Previewing in Context · Self-Collection · Language Families · Prefix, Suffix, Root Study · Word Sleuthing I · Word Sleuthing II · Word
IDEA #1: Semantic Maps · IDEA #2: Eye Spy · IDEA #3: Making Choices · IDEA #4: Sorting Hat · IDEA #5: Word Pairs · IDEA #6: Linear Array · IDEA #7: Games · IDEA #8:
Great Vocabulary Games, Apps, and Sites · Beck and Bo · Endless Wordplay: School Edition · Montessorium: Intro to Words · EdClub · Flocabulary · ReadWorks · Osmo Words.
Do your students forget the definitions of their vocabulary words after taking the quiz? Do you want them to learn their vocabulary
Venn Diagrams (http://www.dpsk12.org/departments/secondary/tip5res.htm).
Play a game of Vocabulary Memory. Give students small squares of paper (preferably a thicker paper to avoid cheating). Students make matching cards, one with
Have one student sit in the front of the classroom on a chair facing away from the blackboard. On the board you will write a vocabulary word but the person in
Your Weekly Eureka Moment · 1. From A to Z · 2. Articulate · 3. Just One · 4. Telephone Pictionary · 5. Mind Meld.