Question Detail

How to set up a vocabulary jar? Word bank.

Feb 28, 2013 8:43am

Iam a primary teacher who teachers english. I would like to work with primary students more vocabulary, for example "cambridge ket exam vocabulary bank" which i´ve got it pdf (word list). I would like to do it in a funny way using for example a vocabulary jar which I use to see in, for example,
We will make small strips of paper containing the words and put them in the jar. They learn the words and put them in the jar, later will go back to review the words. I would like to cover this "cambridge ket exam vocabulary bank" so students will have a good command of vocabulary.

Could you help me to set up as a game, or the way to do it correctly? Have you got any experience related to the "vocabulary jar" technique? I have seen many examples, mainly photos, but do not know how to do it in a correct way.

Thanks for your help,

  • English Language Arts
  • 6-8
  • Planning


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    • Mar 3, 2013 6:03pm

      Hi Mike,

      This sounds exciting! Based on what you're considering, it might be worth looking into Marzano grow lists. The lists usually center around a common feature (affixes, root words, vowel sounds, etc.) and kids add words to the list as they discover them. The nice thing is that they're posted in the room for kids to refer to, and super easy to maintain.

      Here's his website:

      • Mar 2, 2013 4:54pm has some teacher resources and they have the following about the vocabulary jar: "
        When a student:
        1. Says a taught vocabulary word
        2. Recognizes that someone else said a taught vocabulary word
        3. Writes a vocabulary word
        You immediately verbally recognize them and tell them they may go put a rock in the vocabulary jar.

        If you want to make a bigger deal about the work (For example,
        if the word is from a long time ago), you can tell them to put more than one rock in the jar. Like this, “You said a word from 3 stories ago! Go put 3 rocks in the jar.”
        When the jar is full, the last student to put rocks in gets to dump the whole jar out and you start again. They LOVE to dump it out!"

        You could also do this with tickets, and when the jar is full there is a raffle, or you could do it with coins or candy as well.

        Hope this helps!