Doing It Differently: 5 Fun Ways to Motivate “Word Wizards” in Your Classroom

As Steven Stahl puts it, “Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies a definition, but also implies how that word fits into the world,” those working with young minds need to foster their development of a large “word bank” that can be carried beyond the classroom walls.Doing It Differently 5 Fun Ways to Motivate “<strong>Word Wizards</strong>” in Your Classroom

Here are 5 fun vocabulary activities to motivate “word wizards” of all ages.

Using Games

Teachers can make vocabulary more fun to learn by turning the process into games such as charades, taboo, and concentration. Bingo is yet another popular game for young learners where bingo cards are made with illustrations and each word is called out.

Concept Cube

A concept cube is a unique strategy to employ word parts. Students receive a six-square cube which is then folded into a three dimensional cube. On each of the squares, students are asked to write down one of the following:

Vocabulary word

Antonym

Synonym

Category it belongs to

Essential characteristics

Example

Students then cut, fold, and tape the cube to make a square. Then, with a partner, they roll their cube and tell the relationship of the word that land on top to the original vocabulary word.

Word Connect

In one of the most effective vocabulary building strategies, Venn diagram, students are directed to connect two words that are written in the center of a Venn diagram. Their task is to connect the two words by writing down each word’s definition on the Venn diagram, then explaining the reason for the connection.

Incidental Learning

The scientific research on vocabulary instruction reveals that most vocabulary is acquired incidentally through indirect exposure to words. Children, through rich oral-language experiences, can enrich their vocabulary when are allowed to discern word meanings through the context of what is being read aloud to them.

Root Analysis

Most of the words in the English language are derived from Latin or Greek roots. Vocab Tunes’ learning programs focus on teaching children the most commonly occurring root words, prefixes, and suffixes with examples of its use in common words thus maximizing their acquisition of new words.

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