SO: Best practices for teaching vocab?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Caesar753, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Jun 10, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Jun 24, 2007

    Another post got me thinking: How do you all teach vocabulary? What are your tricks? What activities do the kids love?

    I do a game about once a semester. I'd do it more often, but it's hard and I think it would lose some of its appeal if we played it all the time. Anyway, the game is called Aulularia or Olla Auri (depending on what mood I'm in at the time). It means Pot of Gold.

    It consists of a large grid with each box covered up. I go to the first student in the first row, uncover the first box, and ask the student to translate the word (either into English or into the target language). When he gets it correct, I move on to the next student and uncover the next box. This continues until someone gets it wrong, and then I cover all the boxes back up and we start over. There is no phone-a-friend or whatever. Obviously, the goal is to make it through the grid as a class. At the end of the grid is a little pot of gold. When a class wins it, they get a special prize like a movie day or something.

    I usually make the grids using PowerPoint and display them on the overhead screen using my LCD projector. It can be done easily just using an overhead projector or the board as well, although that would require a little more elbow grease.

    I like this game because everyone has to participate. The kids are great about policing themselves and making it obvious that they find it unacceptable when students don't even try. The kids love it and hate it at the same time. It's much more difficult than it might sound, and it really does help them with their vocab.

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