Test Prep: Vocabulary Games
While you may not be able to predict exactly which vocabulary words will be on the tests your students will have to take, you can expand their vocabulary to help better their chances. Take the words that you have been studying all year and use them in the following activities. The vocabulary review games below are perfect to use with your entire class, or with small groups.
Playing off of the familiar fill-in-the-blank concept, create Class Libs for your students. Fill it with as many creative blanks as you can. Students’ knowledge of adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, and pronouns can all get a workout as they work with a small group, or individually to complete their story. Create a list of all of the words used and link the ones that have the same meaning. Students will quickly be able to see how there are many different ways to describe something. This is a great filler activity for those days when rain keeps everyone indoors.
Create a list of antonym pairs. You will need one word for each student. Write the words on index cards and tape one to each child’s back. The students must then ask yes or no questions to figure out what their word is. Once they have discovered the word, they must find the student who has the word that means the opposite of theirs. Use easier words for lower grades, and more challenging words for middle school students. Try pairs of action verbs, adjectives or nouns to add variety to the activity. If your students are strong with antonym recognition, use synonym pairs instead.
Begin by grouping words in ways that you can ask questions about them. For example, you could have a category called “Words That Begin with Bl-” and include only vocabulary words that begin with those letters. The clues would then by the definition of the word. If you do not have a Jeopardy style board, you can use a pocket chart to hold the index cards that have the clues written on them. Let students play as individuals or as teams. This is a great, fun Friday activity that will keep vocabulary words on their minds all weekend long.
Making sure your students are well prepared for tests is a huge responsibility and undertaking. How do you expand and reinforce their vocabulary throughout the school year? Share your ideas with us below!