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by Ashley Ring
I have a bachelors degree in English and I am currently working on my masters degree. I am a private school teacher, and...

Having an extensive vocabulary is the key to being successful in your student’s educational career. The more words a student is introduced to the better they are deemed to do in reading comprehension, writing, and communication. For students learning vocabulary can be a very daunting task, but what I am about to share with you will make both of your lives much easier.

Now we know that learning vocabulary relies mostly of memorization, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Here are your directions tutors:


Prep Instructions

Step 1- Find about 10 somewhat challenging vocabulary words for your student, but keep it in or right around their grade level.

Step 2- Cut up some construction paper writing the vocabulary word on one side, but making sure to keep the other side blank.

Step 3- Write definitions on separate cards.

Step 4- You are ready to turn these vocabulary words into a game.

Second set of directions will take place during your tutoring session. Your goal is get your student knowledgeable of ALL the vocabulary words in a few minutes time. And yes, this is possible.


Hands on Directions Part 2

Step 1- Show student words, one at a time, having them pronounce the word, then asking if they know what the word means. (Many times, students’ will say I’ve heard this word before, but I don’t remember what it means.)

Step 2- Show them each card’s definition laying them out on the table in pairs.

Step 3- Ask student to review the words making sure he can match the words up himself.

Step 4- Next mix up all the vocabulary words and definitions and have the student put the matches back together. (You will be surprised how quickly they have picked up the words just from this quick exposure)

Step 5- After all words are matched up correctly you are ready to play go fish.


Go Fish Vocabulary

What this looks like is the teacher will pass out five cards flipped over to student and his or herself, reminding the student not to show you the cards that they got. Next the teacher will go first showing an example of how to ask for their matching card. If the teacher is looking for a vocabulary word she will say, “Do you have a word that means,” “To scream very loudly.” The student will either give the card or tell her to go fish. The teacher will pick up her card from the left over card’s deck. After she gets her new card it will be the students turn, and if the student is looking for definition, they will say the word to the definition that they are looking for.  

Example : Do you have the definition for Screeching?

By the end of the game you will see that your student now knows a new set of challenging vocabulary words, and probably didn’t realize that learning just took place. This is a fun way to get your student eloquently speaking. Go fish!

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