Vocabulary mastery, Word Journals

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Activity Type: Reintroduce
Activity Form: Standard
Grade: K, 1
Group Size: Individual, Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 5 minutes
Materials: Journal designated for newly learned words; pencils; chart paper; markers
Goal: After learning the meaning of a new word, students will write the word and draw a picture of it in order to attach context to the word
Items: Words you explicitly taught students and want to review

[edit] What to do

  1. Provide students with a journal or use a binder to keep track of newly learned words. Use a large piece of chart paper to model the process of keeping a word journal. Students should be encouraged to refer to this model as they continue using their journals independently.
  2. Today, I’m going to show you how to keep track of the words we learn throughout the year. When we were reading the story My School's a Zoo (any book can be substituted) we learned three new words. One of the words was dreadful (any word can be substituted). Does anyone remember what that word means? Students respond. Praise the students who correctly identify the meaning of the word or provide examples from the book.
  3. That’s right. The word dreadful means awful or really bad. I love words because they mean something to all of us. I would use the word dreadful to describe how I felt the day I fell and twisted my ankle. I’m not a great artist, but I’m going to draw the moment when I fell and twisted my ankle to show that I felt dreadful. Write the word dreadful on top of the chart paper using letters large enough to see from across the room.
  4. Let’s see…I fell on the floor and my ankle was in pain (draw a figure on the ground holding her ankle). I was in so much pain that I started to cry (draw some tears to indicate the figure was in pain). I felt absolutely dreadful that day. Can any of you remember a time when you felt dreadful? Call on students and encourage personal responses that relate to the word dreadful. Praise students for sharing.
  5. Now, I want all of you to write the word dreadful on your page just as I did (point to chart paper), and then draw something that reminds you of that word (point to picture). If you don’t have any personal experiences, try to think of a friend or a character in one of our books that went through a dreadful experience and draw that.
    • The lesson can be altered to introduce more complexity to the task. For example, when students have demonstrated the ability to compose sentences, you can model how to add additional context to the picture by composing a sentence surrounding the word and picture.
    • The journal can also be used to introduce the concept of keeping a personal thesaurus, if age appropriate .

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