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4 Activities for Applying Vocabulary Words in Writing

Hey there! Welcome back to part 4 of my vocabulary series where we are focusing on creating meaningful vocabulary instruction. In this series, I am walking though Marzano’s Six Step Process for teaching vocabulary. They are:

1. Describe and Explain
2. Restate and Explain in their OWN words.
3. Create a Drawing
4. Enrich and Explain their Knowledge (synonyms, antonyms, prefixes, etc…)
5. Collaborate with others (partner work, think-pair-share, etc…)
6. Involve with play (games, word work, etc…)

Research shows that effective vocabulary instruction can happen in just 15 minutes a day. Here is what my weekly vocabulary routine looks like.
Monday: Introduce and Explore
Tuesday Visualize and Define
Wednesday: Synonyms and Antonyms
Thursday: Apply in Writing
Friday: Review

In this post, I am going to show you several vocabulary activities that my students have used to practice applying new words into their writing.

Research shows that students need to learn words in context, not just in a stand-alone list that comes and goes each week. Teaching students the meanings of new words is one thing. Teaching them to apply new vocabulary words into their writing is another thing. You must set the foundation first before the writing process can start.

Vocabulary Hashtag

Vocabulary Hashtag is one of my favorite activities that uses lots of prior knowledge, which is key to vocabulary development. Students select a vocabulary word or you can assign one to them. They must create a hashtag using their word, illustrate it, and then write a caption for their word.

This activity is relatable because of social media. They see this as creating something to post onto Instagram or Facebook.

Making Connections

It’s also important for students to make connections to words in more than one way. With comprehension we often have students make a text-to-text, a text-to-self, and a text-to-world connection. You can have them make the same type of connections with vocabulary words.

Describing Characters

When I want students to really dive deeper into their thinking, I’ll have them describe characters from our current story. They must describe a character’s thoughts, feelings, and actions while incorporating new words they have learned.

Texting Vocabulary

It’s also important to challenge student thinking. Using this Texting Vocabulary activity is one of my favorite ways to do that. First, have them imagine a conversation between two people using a particular word. We discuss how text messages are a way for people to communicate with one another. They must create a texting conversation using a particular word. The word must be used in both sides of the conversation.

This activity is challenging for them because both sides of the conversation must make sense.

Vocabulary instruction doesn’t have to be a challenging part of lessons anymore. These simple activities can help increase your students overall understanding and knowledge. I hope you find them useful for you and your students.

You can find these four vocabulary activities in my TPT store. It includes 17 low prep activities that can be used with any vocabulary list.

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