With final exams in a few weeks I want to do a quick review every day with my students to remind them of all of the 180 words they must know for their test. Here’s what I’ve done so far that each day takes 5-10 minutes or less.
STEP 1: STAND UP UNTIL YOU CAN GIVE A DEFINITION I ask all of my students to stand up (not all acquiesce right away-I still call on them), and when I say a word, the first person to raise their hand and give me a definition can sit down. The students are anxious to sit down, so it’s a quick and easy way to review.
STEP 2: TALK ABOUT CHARACTERS WITH VOCABULARY WORDS We just finished studying The Great Gatsby in one class and are in the middle of Raisin in the Sun in another class. I asked the students to list the main characters in their book and then list vocabulary words that define each of their personality traits. They especially enjoyed using individual whiteboards to make their lists.
If you don't have individual whiteboards you could use my Many Faces of Vocabulary printable to have students create and write about the main characters.
STEP 3: CATEGORIZE YOUR WORDS I ask my students to put vocabulary words in a few different categories-insults, compliments, travel/time words, responsibility words, etc. Students have to put in 10 words for each of at least three categories (they could also create their own categories).
The conversations I had with students were interesting- the word decadent is a compliment when talking about decadent desserts but an insult when talking about the decadent Roman empire. My students were able to discuss the nuances of words through our category discussions!
QUICK VOCABULARY REVIEW GAMES TO USE IN CENTERS
The easiest way to review new and past vocabulary words is with vocabulary games. Leading up to semester exams I periodically set up centers of vocabulary games and have students rotate through the stations to review past words.
PRINTABLE 1: VOCAB-ZEE DICE GAME
Vocab-Zee Dice Game, similar to Hasbro® Yahtzee ™, is the perfect vocabulary game to use in centers for review. Students will perform vocabulary-based actions that coincide with the dice numbers they roll.
To play the Vocab-Zee Dice Game you will need to break students into groups of 3–5 players. Each group of students will need 5 dice and the Vocab-Zee Dice Game rules. During each turn, students have up to three rolls to try and achieve the best possible set of dice. Once students have completed their three rolls, they look at their dice and, based on the numbers, have to perform vocabulary-based actions in order to earn points.
PRINTABLE 2: GO FISH VOCABULARY GAME
The Go Fish Vocabulary Game is a fun, relatively quick game that helps students master a few of their trickier vocabulary words.
PRINTABLE 3: PICABULARY GAME
The Picabulary Vocabulary Game, similar to Hasbro® Pictionary™, is a quick and often hilarious way to review vocabulary words! Divided into teams, students have to creatively draw out vocabulary word meanings for their teammates to guess. The team with the most points wins!
To use this game in classroom centers for review, all you need are the instruction and a whiteboard.
PRINTABLE 4: VOCAB LAND GAME BOARD
A beautifully-designed version of Candy Land where students must write in and then use vocabulary words to move along in game play. It’s wonderful how the artwork in this game can remind students of earlier childhood memories and therefore make word learning seem like child’s play.
Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts. Language Standard 4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown words Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning. Language Standard 6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge