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  • Writer's pictureBethPollak

Vocabulary is Valuable

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

When students approach new concepts, learning the corresponding vocabulary can be similar to learning a foreign language. It is essential to provide deliberate and consistent opportunities for students to practice vocabulary words in context. This helps them retain meanings, concepts and spellings, and gives them tools to express complex ideas.

As part of my graduate research, I measured how adding vocabulary activities to a unit of study helped students improve their:

  • application and understanding of the words.

  • overall ability to write about a topic.

In particular, vocabulary practice helped students with spelling challenges and language-based learning differences like dyslexia.

Some project ideas for in-unit vocabulary practice: Assign students to...

  • Write and perform interviews or dialogues between important people/characters that they have researched, and incorporate selected vocabulary words.

  • Write faux diary entries from historical eras or important settings using key words.

  • Create an ad or PSA that persuades, using relevant vocabulary words.

  • Prepare a classroom debate or discussion that requires selected vocabulary words.

  • Create a comic strip, short story, poem, song or rap that incorporates vocabulary.



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