I choose one word per week to directly teach to students on Monday morning. Along with that word comes 8-10 synonyms that we use throughout our conversations each day. Only the word of the week is posted on the word wall. The definition and synonyms should be written on the back of the word wall card for future use. 

Here are the lessons, activities and assessments I have found and created for word learning in my classroom:

  • Day 1: Frayer Model (Introduction to the word of the week)
    • This activity is done as a whole class, students learn the new word through direct instruction. Together we come up with examples and nonexamples of the concept. Lastly, we come up with a catchy/jazzy way to remember the word for the future.
    • Resource: Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Grades 4-12 by Janet Allen (2007)
  • Day 2: Think-Pair-Share
    • This activity is done as morning work for the first 5-8 minutes of the day. Students should work together and find a buddy to “pair” with. During Morning Meeting we discuss the activity by sharing our findings.
    • Resource: Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Grades 4-12 by Janet Allen (2007)
  • Day 3: Word Castle
    • This activity is done as morning work for the first 5-8 minutes of the day. Students should work independently. If they are having difficulties they are allowed to ask a friend at their group for assistance. During Morning Meeting we discuss the activity by sharing our findings.
    • Halfway through the year I added the grammar portion on the bottom. This was great for helping students practice writing different types of sentences. It allowed for wonderful conversation and tremendous growth in their sentence structure.
  • Day 4: Scaling  (**Our favorite activity of the week! Great debates arise!)
    • This activity is done as morning work for the first 5-8 minutes of the day. Students should work independently. If they are having difficulties they are allowed to ask a friend at their group for assistance. During Morning Meeting we discuss the activity by sharing our findings.
    • Resource: Adopted from Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary, Grades 4-12 by Janet Allen (2007)
  • Every 3 weeks: Vocabulary Story 
    • Here are some example stories: Holiday Story, Valentines Day Story, St. Patty’s Day Story, Family Vacation Story
    • This is a great way to incorporate writing and vocabulary. Due to Writing Workshop I rarely use writing prompts to kick start students writing anymore. However, it is a good skill to have to prepare for the SBAC. Plus, it is a great way to review past words and see if students can successfully use each word in a sentence.
  • Once a Month: Vocabulary Review and Quiz
    • Every 4 weeks I quiz the kids on the words we have learned that month. First, I allow them to review the words with a partner using word cards I have created. They may take these home to study if they wish. An example of these word cards can be found here.
    • The next day they are expected to complete a quiz. An example quiz can be found here.