10 Tips to Learn New Vocabulary Words Faster

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 the puzzle.

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.