Learning vocabulary words is an essential skill that all students
need to have. If you are looking for fun and creative ways to
help your students learn their vocabulary words faster, take a
look at the tips below. Perhaps they may even spark other alternatives
for you. The important keys to remember when learning vocabulary
words are that students must read them repetitively and understand
the definitions of the words soundly. This can be accomplished
through word association, mnemonics, and lots of practice.
Tip #1 : Word Search Puzzles.
Using word search puzzles is a fun way for students to learn
vocabulary words faster. The key is to provide them with the definitions
of the words, and they have to find the corresponding words in
Tip #2 : Crossword Puzzles.
Similar to using word search puzzles, consider using crossword
puzzles. Give students the definitions of vocabulary words and
let them place the correct words into the crossword puzzle.
Tip #3: Hangman.
Kids love this game, and you can use it to your advantage. Play this game the
traditional way, but with a vocabulary twist. Have a vocabulary
word be the word the students have to guess. Once a child guesses
the word, he or she must also tell you the definition of that
word. If the student cannot give you the correct definition, then
choose another student who can.
Tip #4 : Unscrambling words.
Prepare a worksheet with vocabulary words scrambled in one column
and the list of definitions in the second column. Have the students
unscramble the vocabulary words and then match the definitions
correctly from the second column. Be sure not to put the definitions
straight across from the correct word.
Tip #5 : Timed practice.
Create a worksheet that has all of the definitions of words listed
on it, and give a sheet to each student. Write vocabulary words
on the whiteboard and cover them up until you are ready for the
students to begin. Tell the students that they will have one minute
to write the correct vocabulary words by their definitions. Reveal
the vocabulary words and begin timing.
Tip #6: Vocabulary Concentration.
Draw pictures that represent the vocabulary words onto blank
index cards. Place the cards upside down so the pictures cannot
be seen. Draw a grid on the whiteboard and place one definition
into each square. Have students take turns coming up to draw a
picture card and tape it to the correct box on the board that
matches the picture to the definition.
Tip #7: True or False.
Prepare a worksheet that has sentences using the vocabulary words.
Let the students read the sentences and decide if the vocabulary
word is being used properly. They will write a "T" or "F" next
to each sentence. Make some space at the bottom of the worksheet
for students to rewrite sentences using the vocabulary words correctly
for instances where they wrote "F" for the sentences above.
Tip #8 : Fill-in-the-Blanks.
Create a worksheet where students will fill in the blanks with
the correct vocabulary word. For younger students, place a word
box below the sentences for children to pick from. For older students,
use the word box or let the students fill in the words from memory.
Tip #9 : Dictionary Find.
Have students look up vocabulary words in the dictionary and
write the definitions down. This will not only help them learn
and understand vocabulary words, but will help with their study
skills as well.
Tip #10: Flashcards
Have students create their own set of flashcards by giving them
blank flashcards to use. On one side they will write the vocabulary
word, and on the flip side write the definition. Use the flashcards
to play games that help students learn the words quickly.