5 ways to enhance your academic vocabulary instruction - #2 WRITE the Words

I'm back with installment two of my series "5 methods to ENHANCE vocabulary instruction."  A few weeks ago we talked about method number 1 - students need to SEE new vocabulary words (click HERE to view this post). This week it's all about the importance of WRITING new vocabulary words.

And I don't mean writing them 5x each, or finding the definition in the dictionary, I mean WRITING them in a meaningful way that will help students to connect and remember the new words in the future. 

In our classroom, after I show students a new vocabulary word with method #1 (for example "articulate" -  I brought in the manual that came with my iPhone 6 and we looked at the directions for how to use Siri. We discussed how the authors had to clearly describe (articulate) the steps so new users would understand) the next day, we practice method #2.

Once students have had an initial visual representation of the new word, we WRITE about it in our vocabulary folders. 



First, students work together in pairs to orally determine a meaningful description of the word. We WRITE several description examples on the board and we pick and choose to create a description we can all agree upon.

Second, students WRITE the description on a graphic organizer (see photos above) and then work in pairs to come up with synonyms and antonyms or examples/non-examples, a complete sentence that shows understanding of the word and contains at least 7 words, and lastly a picture that shows what the word means. I use the graphic organizers from my vocabulary instruction packets for students to record their WRITING.

(Here's a great game from The Brown Bag Teacher called Vocabulary 7-Up that's fun for practicing WRITING new words in sentences.)

Lastly, once students have finished WRITING about the new word, they meet up with a new partner to compare and WRITE more if necessary.  All in all, step #2 usually takes about 30 minutes.
See photo below......

Click HERE to read post #3 all about how we KEEP new academic vocabulary words in our classroom - to reference all year long!

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