Teaching vocabulary is vital for the secondary content-area classroom, but the task can also be the most boring activity students must endure. Change that up with this simple how-to!
- Make learning vocabulary an event in your classroom rather than a start-of-unit menial task. Allow adequate time for the event, and give it the same emphasis as any other activity in your class lessons.
- Do a scavenger hunt, allowing students to find and define terms.
- Play a matching game with terms and definitions, creating some competition in the task.
- Set up an archeology dig where students gather the information to fit the lesson.
- Use Think-Research-Share activities to step students through the vocabulary process.
- Hold "salon" gatherings or connotation readings for added engagement.
- Add an element of controversy to prompt discussion of critical events.
- Let students write poems, draw pictures, or sing songs to learn vocabulary or to learn its appropriate application.
*My Age of Exploration Sunken Ship Activity is shown in this post. Students gather vocabulary cards from the sunken ship to collect information on the Age of Exploration and the changes leading into modern times.