Lesson plans and activities

These pages focus on vocabulary instruction. Other pages dealing with word study are Words at Play, Etymology, and Spelling.

10 Sites and Apps for SAT Vocabulary Review
A list of useful resources from "Free Technology for Teachers."

12 Words and Phrases That Originated in the Funny Pages
Looking for a nontraditional vocabulary/etymology lesson? Have students add to this list from more recent comics.

Among the generous links at this site are elementary/primary-level Word Searches, Crossword Puzzles, Shape Books, and ABC activities, all ready to print and use!

Affect or effect?
A thorough explanation for middle schoolers and above, including text, a 4-minute audio file, and a downloadable chapter from her book, which requires Adobe Reader for access.

Affect versus Effect
This downloadable YouTube video (4:17) emphasizes effect as a noun; affect as a verb but also explores effect as a verb and affect as a noun. Includes advertising at the end.

Antonym Bingo
The students will demonstrate knowledge of antonyms after an introduction done by the teacher. After the introduction, the students will play antonym bingo to reinforce the skill.

Antonyms: Super Why Bingo
This interactive game supports practice with antonyms. The audio is a helpful component, but students understand the directions; it is not essential.

Building a Better Vocabulary
This page includes a wealth of resources, including Latin root words, prefixes and suffixes. Scroll down to find related sites and online quizzes appropriate for secondary students.

Calliope, Muse of Eloquence
An interactive, Web-based series of lessons. Students explore words from Latin and Greek mythology. Worksheets available at the site encourage critical reading and help students avoid random clicking.

The Case Against Good and Bad
This short video from TED-ED (4:53) encourages students to use more precise language. Includes a post-viewing assessment and follow-up activities.

The Clarifying Routine: Elaborating Vocabulary Instruction
This strategy is designed for LD students and will work well with all students.

Dinosaurs: Prefixes and Suffixes
In this lesson, students will use a variety of prefixes and suffixes to create their own dinosaur names. They will draw a picture of the new dinosaur, and then type, edit, and print a story using a word processor.

Doing it Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary
In this blog a teacher explains a procedure that has worked well with her students. The procedure is based on Marzano's research.

Emotions - Feelings Word Vocabulary
This graphic presents words related to emotions and organized by how strong the feeling is. Example: glad, cheerful, ecstatic. Printable.

The Evolution of Languages
A beautiful site exploring etymology, regional dialects, cognates.

Expansions: An Online Book of Vocabulary Games
Six activities for your next vocabulary lesson.

Finding New Ways to Say Something
Students select the right synonym to complete a sentence, match words to their thesaurus entries, and practice alphabetizing skills. These online activities are designed for adult learners and will work with middle school and above.

Free Rice
Online vocabulary practice that adjusts to a student's skill level. For each correct response, the sponsors donate rice to fight world hunger.

Hero and Villain
Word search puzzle with words related to heroism and villainy. Good sponge activity. Consider offering students extra credit if they find the typo in the headlines. Adobe Reader required; 4 pages.

Homonyms, Homophones, and Words with Multiple Meanings
Activities and resources for multiple-meaning words.

Homonyms Quiz
This web-based, self-correcting quiz is good for high school and up.

Strategies and digital resources that will work on almost any grade level.

Introducing Synonyms to Early Writers
This lesson introduces students to the basic concept of a synonym and how varying vocabulary usage through synonyms can enhance their writing. Students will also synthesize their understanding of synonyms and the Visual Thesaurus by playing "Synonym Charades," a fun guessing game where students will figure out original book or movie titles based on synonym clues.

It's Greek to Me!
In this online activity students explore English words with Greek origins. Designed for upper elementary or middle school.

Kindergarten and First Grade Vocabulary and Word Skills
Twenty-five lessons on a variety of word skills. Each lesson is accompanied by activities, with all necessary game pieces and manipulatives provided as printables. Save this 135-page document to your computer and print out only the pages you need. This is a rich resource!

Learning Vocabulary can be Fun
This interactive site offers a variety of games using words assigned by category (animals, food, geography, etc.). Depending on the game and words chosen, these are appropriate for up to about 7th grade.

Living to Tell the Tale
Students read an excerpt from the memoir by Gabriel García Márquez, work with vocabulary words, and write a brief autobiographical piece. Access requires Adobe Reader or compatible application.

Make Beliefs Comix
Students create comic strips online. This tool is great for prewriting, responding to reading, creative writing, vocabulary words, ESL, and exit slips. Very easy to learn and use, it is appropriate for almost every age level.

Making Sense of Homographs
This lesson introduces students to homographs. Students brainstorm common homographs and then use the Visual Thesaurus to help them discover a relationship between part of speech and pronunciation when encountering stress homographs.

Mysteries of Vernacular
Focus on word origins: a short video, viewing check questions, additional information, and a discussion question for each word.

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