Teachers and substitute teachers are always on the lookout for a free generic vocabulary lesson plan and worksheet they can grab when planning time is at a premium. Such vocabulary activity sheets come in handy on those occasions when a teacher must leave the class with a substitute without sufficient warning. Substitute teachers, too, find that a list adaptable to most grade levels, ability groups and individual lists of vocabulary is helpful when no lesson plan is in sight and the kids are filing in the door.
Criteria for a Good Generic Vocabulary Lesson Plan
A good generic vocabulary activity should be open-ended. It should contain a selection of questions or activities ranging from easy to challenging and geared toward a wide range of student interests. It should also incorporate an assortment of learning styles, keeping in mind the limitations of the class environment and time allotted to the task.
Vocabulary Lesson Plans and Worksheets Should Address Critical Thinking Skills
Keeping in mind that an effective vocabulary lesson plan and worksheets accompanying the lesson should engage students in a way that stretches their thinking, activities should go beyond just copying down the vocabulary list and definitions and writing sentences that are often incorrect. Students should be able to demonstrate comprehension, apply what they have learned, analyze new material, synthesize information and finally make an evaluation based upon the new learning.
Visualizing Vocabulary – A Simple Vocabulary Worksheet for Any List of Words
Directions for Student:
1. Select ten words from your vocabulary list. (If the teacher has no list handy, select words based upon what students are studying in class.)
2. If you think you already know what the word means, write down the definition in your head for the word. Check your definition against the dictionary and put a check mark beside it if you correctly defined the word. If your definition varies from that of the dictionary, note the difference on your paper.
3. Draw symbols or pictures that represent ideas depicted in the vocabulary word. Try to make drawings that help you and your classmates remember the words. You don’t have to be a great artist, although you may be. It’s fine to use stick figures or simple drawings.
4. Make two columns on plain white paper or construction paper. The first column should contain the vocabulary word along with a sentence using that word that relates to your drawing. The second column should contain your drawing. You may make a smaller version of one you practiced earlier.
5. Fold your paper down the middle so that only your picture is showing.
6. After finishing, show your drawing to another student or small group. Classmates will try to decide which word is represented in each drawing.
7. If time remains at the end of the period, the teacher may choose to review by using pictures and having students clarify meanings of individual words.
Additional Commentary Concerning Vocabulary Lessons
This free generic vocabulary lesson incorporates visualizing vocabulary, doing something with it, working with the printed word, recalling information, analyzing and synthesizing new knowledge associated with a student’s vocabulary words. Its open-endedness helps it appeal to learners of all abilities, allowing advanced learners to stretch their boundaries without being too difficult for students more dependent upon individualized instruction and attention from the teacher.