ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Tools for Building Vocabulary

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tools for Building Vocabulary

Are you looking for simple, fun ways to build your students' vocabulary? 
We have collected a few suggestions to help you out!

As a classroom teacher, one of my favorite vocabulary building tools was the Vocabulary Anchor.  We used a large laminated poster of a sail boat and anchor, set up as the illustration below, without the words on it.  Each day the class would work together to fill in the chart using the new word of the day.  As a quick way to review, during short transition times, I would call out past vocabulary words and they would respond with the anchor words.
With young students it is fun to build basic vocabulary with a game we called "Name It."  On small slips of paper create Name It cards with simple prompts such as: an article of clothing, a body part, a state, a fruit, etc.  With the children in a line or a row have the first child pick a card.  The teacher says, "A fruit, name it!"  The first 3-5 children each think of one word that fits the category.  Each word must be different from the person before them.  After 3-5 students, have someone pick a new category and continue listing new words.
What's My Word, from Classroom Game Nook, is an interactive way for students to really get to know a new vocabulary word while recording their new learning.

On our Pinterest board, titled Vocabulary Building, we have collected links to several other favorite Vocabulary Building Games you may be interested in trying with your students.

Multimedia Vocabulary Tools
To encourage interaction with technology while studying vocabulary, the following sites are fantastic.

EGlossary provides interactive definitions that are read aloud to students and provide animated graphics.

VocabAhead offers an email subscription for a Word a Day as well as a great vocabulary guessing app that is available online.


Science Glossary, Geography Glossary, and Math Glossary offer online alternatives to practicing content vocabulary.

Listing synonyms and antonyms for a new vocabulary term becomes a creative outlet if you use Tagul or Tagxedo.

What are your tips and tricks for making vocabulary instruction entertaining and effective?

Disclosure: None of the links above are sponsored.

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to meet other bloggers from Michigan. I have liked you on facebook and followed your blog. I love your teaching tools you share.