This is a great activity to use when you want your learners to review vocabulary!
Many of you have requested vocabulary activities, so I created this simple learning center that you could use with kids in grades 3-5.
As you can see, the activity is simple. Gather a list of vocabulary words that you’ve already taught your students (they don’t come with the download) and have your learners use them to complete the activities.
First they write one of the vocabulary words in the first column on the recording sheet. Then they roll a die and do the corresponding activity. For the first word, demonstrate, my daughter rolled a 1. So she wrote a sentence.
When she rolled a 4 for analyze, she was stuck. She wasn’t sure of the meaning, so she didn’t know how to write it in her own words.
Unfortunately our children’s dictionary did not have the word. So we went online. But Merriam-Webster ‘s definition wasn’t clear enough for my Ten.
However, Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary was perfect!
I helped her restate the definition in her own words.
She wrote the part of speech for the word solitary.
She drew a picture for absurd.
And she wrote a great sentence for sluggish: The girl felt sluggish because she didn’t get enough sleep.
A tip: Teach your learners to write a sentence that actually demonstrates the meaning of the word. For example, The girl was sluggish would not be a good sentence.
Now the question remains… what words do you use for this activity?
My biggest tip is to use tier two vocabulary. This means – use words that occur often in our speaking and reading vocabulary.
Do not use content vocabulary. For example – Don’t take the words your child is learning for her history exam if they are words that only occur in that context. Those are tier three words; they’re important to know within the context of a specific subject or lesson, but your vocabulary teaching is best spent on words your learners will encounter/use often in their own speaking, reading, and writing.
And where do you find these tier two words, you ask? I wish I had a magical place where I could tell you to find tier two words for all grade levels. I’m not sure one exists (I’ve looked!).
But you can find vocabulary lists online or collect words from your learners’ reading and spelling work.
Other teaching tips
- You may choose to have learners do this as an oral review with a partner rather than using the recording sheet.
- You might have students roll the die twice and do two activities per word. This way if they get an easy one (such as naming the part of speech), they also have to do a more challenging activity for a word.
- Make sure you have a student dictionary on hand for your learners – one that has all the words in it. 🙂
- Is the activity too “cutesy” for your learners? Print the simpler version at the end of the download.
Have you seen our free vocabulary journal?