Spice up your Vocabulary Lessons


I have seen some teachers reading and blogging about this book and I just couldn't wait any longer to get it. I downloaded it yesterday to my ipad and began reading. It is an excellent resource that gives you tons of awesome ideas to make vocabulary exciting in your classroom. I can't wait to spice up my vocabulary lessons.

The book helped me realize that I need to give my students many more encounters with the words than I am giving them. Somehow I knew they needed more encounters, but I was not sure what kind of meaningful things to do with them. Students cannot just copy or memorize a definition to learn a new word. They need to interact and use the word in discussion with the class and others. The sheet I made is an adaption from the one provided in the book. (I added another section so I can get 2 words on a page to save paper. I am going to try to copy them back to back so I can even get 4 words on a page. I also added a short definition to the synonym and antonym since my students are second graders.) A 7-up sentence means that they use the word in a sentence using 7 or more words explaining the definition in the sentence. An example for the word community: community- In my community there are parks, boys and girls club, nice neighbors, the Ohio River, and much more to see. When drawing a picture students are encouraged to use the word somehow in the picture. I am going to start with this new sheet when working on vocabulary in my classroom as well as slowly adding in a few other suggestions. If you would like to use the sheet you can click to the picture and download your own copy.

There are so many awesome ideas in the book: vocabulary parties, raps, lanyards, games, etc. I highly recommend it if you do not have it already. I was so excited today when I found this free app for vocabulary because if went along so well with the research in the Word Nerds book. The book suggests to use Tier 2 words or start with some of the vocabulary in your reading, science, and social studies books.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/worlds-worst-pet-vocabulary/id730540095?ls=1&mt=8World's Worst Pet App is a free app that uses tier 2 vocabulary words. Students can work through levels and each level has, definitions, cloze sentences, synonyms, and antonyms. It would be great to enrich those higher students in my classroom. 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bluster!/id416160693?mt=8 Bluster is also a free app which practices prefixes, suffixes, rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, etc. The great thing about this game is you can pick one or 2 player so you can play it with a friend on the ipad. It has in app purchases but you can get a few great games for free. 

I am so excited to use some of the great new ideas from the Word Nerds book in my classroom this week. What are some ideas that you have to spice up vocabulary? Please feel free to share.


  1. OMG-I am a Word Nerd! :) I had never heard of that book, but sounds like something I have to read. I have several ESL students and really try to focus on implicitly teaching vocabulary. Thank you for sharing!


  2. I haven't heard of the book either but I can't wait to check it out! Thank you!


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