Learning new vocabulary is essential in developing communication and literacy skills. The wider a student’s vocabulary, the more able they are to express themselves. It will also allow students to make more sense of the things they hear and read. Our Word of the Day teaching resource is versatile and can be used to teach vocab daily. It makes a great morning starter activity, a perfect introduction to a literacy lesson, a resource for intervention groups or a learning focussed time-filler.
To use the Word of the Day activity as a morning starter, teachers will introduce a new word each morning. The students will then have the whole day ahead of them to apply the word in as many contexts as they can. As a literacy starter, the activity can be used to introduce a topic related word, which the students can attempt to use in their writing. This teaching resource is also a useful tool to use during intervention groups. It can support students with communication issues or those that are learning English as a second language.
The activity is clear for students to follow. Teachers simply introduce a Word of the Day and students do the rest. This allows them to develop independence and ownership over their own learning. Students are required to explore the spelling, meaning and use of the word.
First, they must look closely at the word to count how many letters, consonants, vowels and syllables there are. This draws their attention to the spelling of the word. Students are then required to explain what the Word of the Day means and find words with the same meaning. This is a perfect opportunity to teach students how to use a dictionary and thesaurus and it also helps embed the spelling again.
Once they have understood the definition, students are challenged to apply the word by writing a sentence that includes the Word of the Day. Finally, students must write the word in a fancy way. This exercise helps them to build motor and visual memory of the word.
Here are some additional lesson ideas for students that finish quickly. Ask them to find a partner in the classroom and play a game of ‘Sentence Tennis’. Students take it in turns to orally create sentences with the Word of the Day. The player to pause longest gives away a point.
Word association games are another simple way to teach vocab learning. Start with the Word of the Day and ask the students to think of a word that relates to the previous word. By the end of the game, the students will have a bank of words that are all related in some way. This could be played in small groups or as a whole class.
If it is something creative that the students crave, ask them to create an image of something that they relate to the Word of the Day. This visual association is proven to help with memory. Lastly, a ‘search and find’ challenge is always a popular activity. Set the students the task to discover the focus word as they go about their day. Maybe they hear it being spoken, spot it somewhere in the classroom or perhaps see it in a reading book. The most obscure discovery wins!
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