What activities can kids do to practice vocabulary?


Quick Answer

Methods for practicing new words include dramatization, word association and playing games. Robert J. Marzano's Six-Step process features a series of steps for building vocabulary.

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Full Answer

The first activity in Marzano's process is providing the explanation of the vocabulary word and having students restate the definition in their own words. Next, students create a picture or other nonlinguistic representation of the term. As the class moves on, students should periodically discuss the new vocabulary words and utilize them whenever possible.

Some activities for practicing the new terms include dramatizing the meaning of a new word. For example, if the new word is "exhausted," they show what this looks like.

Another activity for utilizing the new term is discussion associations with a partner. One student says the new word, and the other associates it to a term the students already know. It's not essential that the associated word be a synonym but just that there's some connection between the two. For example, the first student could ask "What makes you exhausted?" and the other replies "Too much homework."

The final step in Marzano's vocabulary building process is playing with the new vocabulary. An example is the comparison game. The teacher prepares several tiles of words that collocate or otherwise associate. Student shuffle the tiles around and select two words. They must describe why the words do or don't go together based on their knowledge of the definitions.

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