We are busy teachers, right? Of course. Despite our many responsibilities, it is not impossible to build in a little vocabulary building throughout the day. Here is a great, “quick,” vocabulary game from Jill Negrete, Speech Language Therapist from the Grantsburg School District.

Five Minute Vocabulary Game – #1 (I’ll try and post one weekly –) Just remember I am not the authority – everything I know I learned from watching and modeling a teacher. So feel free to share a quick vocab game that you have used – you are the masters!

What we know! Words are thinking. There is a give and take relationship between reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. Children who are good readers are picking up new vocabulary words as they read, children learn between two thousand and three thousand words a year – that’s about 7 a day. There is a gap between the good reader with strong vocabulary and poor readers with weak vocabularies and the gap widens.

We must give vocabulary opportunities to narrow the gap. The best way to teach vocabulary – The MUSTS! 1) We continue to teach inferred meaning of words through reading. 2) We must “hook” new word to what students know. 3) We must actively and purposefully teach new words. 4) We must give students repeated exposure to new words. 5) We must get our students to be curious or excited about new words.

SURE! Piece of CAKE! Now do it in 5 minutes that you have open in your day!

Ok – This is how much time we have so we will make it “Word Time”. I am going to give you some five minute vocabulary activities that can be used during transition times as lining up, waiting for others to join a group, everyone finished early and there is a few minutes – not enough to start something new….. Or just build it into your day as “Brain Warm-Ups!”

1) The MYSTERY TIN ( Open ended – you can select the words)
Place an object, picture card or word in a can / tin. The students are going to guess what is in the tin! You can work on 1) general vocabulary or a specific skill. Always expand -thinking function, parts of whole, categories. Listen to these five clues and raise your hand if you think you know what is in the tin. ( This will give students who need more clues the opportunity 1) an animal 2) large animal 3) lives in Africa / zoo 4) vegetarian 5) eats leaves from top of trees. When you bring out the Giraffe – discuss parts – hooves, spots, similarities to other animals, etc.
giraffe picture *image credit: http://www.animalcorner.co.uk.wildlife/giraffes/giraffe_anatomy
Open ended can fit any unit!

The 3rd grade class is working on adverbs – Give clues in adverb language 1) flies quickly 2) pollinates carefully 3) photographs colorfully yellow – black 4) stings painfully 5) buzzes loudly
bee picture *image credit: http://bee-magic.blogspot.com

Will add more 5 minute Vocab as we go. MS JILL – AKA THE WORD LADY!

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