This lesson requires setting a few expectations ahead of time, but it seems really fun:
Also, look into games that teach Marzano's academic vocabulary.
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I like to incorporate a lot of turn-and-talk when we are doing word chats during morning meeting. This past week, for example, concoction was one of our words. I had kids turn-and-talk about what their favorite dessert concoction was. Similarly, with the word murmur, I asked students to murmur to a partner something they were looking forward to at school today.
I also find that it is easy to incorporate some kinesthetic learning into vocabulary instruction. So, for example, ask kids to show what they would look like if they were weary. Ask students to demonstrate the proper way to do a jumping jack, etc.
Hope these ideas are useful.
I think incorporating some drama is always a way to engage kids and raise the j factor. You can have students act out the words (like charades). Another thing I have done is to have the students say the words with a variety of emotions. For example if the word is freezing - say it like you are freezing. If the word is thrilled, say it like you are thrilled. The kids love it and it helps synthesize the word meaning for them.
I love to do spicy words! I incorporate this as a morning meeting activity. Every week we find 3 hot and spicy words from a read aloud. Students are asked to listen for them and show me a fire when they hear the hot word. We then make a hand signal for each word. Every morning we review our hand signals. I found that this helps them remember the definition and provides muscle memory. We also did vocabulary theater. Hopefully that gets you started!
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