Making Vocabulary Words Memorable! And some answer cards I forgot about!

Our core reading series is Journeys from Houghton Mifflin each week students are given 10 vocabulary words to learn. They are tested on the definition at the end of each week. Our scores have not been great and I was searching for better ways to make the words memorable. I found this book.......
I actually saw Jane Feber at a conference a couple of years ago and knew this book would be full of great ideas, and I haven't been disappointed. Here are a couple of Jane's ideas we've tried........
I gave each student a fortune cookie, we looked at their fortunes and discussed how a fortune sounds. Then they used vocabulary words to write their own fortunes. Here's one they came up with, "every aspect of your life will change" the vocab word is aspect!
I was very pleased with how well they did with this exercise they really got into it and came up with some great ones!
We wrote Vocabulary Bumper stickers! This was a little more difficult for them to catch onto. I need to collect some clever bumper stickers or find images to share with them to get them started I think!

Here's a few good ones. "I muted my mouth in class" the vocab word was muted. "Mrs. Marshall causes me a lot of tension" vocab word is tension, and "strawberry's are doleful when they don't get eaten" LOL vocab word was doleful!
 We hung these up outside the classroom they were very proud of their work!
 We've made a couple different kinds of vocab booklets, the first ones (yellow above) are folded books with one page for each word. Students wrote the word and illustrated it. This was a bit difficult for them so I ended up using the sentences from the book we read that week. I typed them up had them cut them out and glue one sentence to each page and illustrate it from there.
This is another vocab booklet that I  came up with using the LINCS strategy, there is one strip per word. For each word the students write the word and definition, an illustration, use the word in a sentence and come up with a "reminder" something like "ten-sons give their mom tension" ten-sons is the reminder for tension.

Today we created Vocabulary Comics.....
I created this blank comic strip, students choose a word and then came up with a sentence, and illustrated it across three frames. Again they did a pretty good job at this! The comic concept seemed familiar to them and they came up with pretty good sentences. Here are some particularly good ones....
This one says "el dia de los muertos is customarily celebrated in Mexico"  It shows the people with masks and the 2nd bubble says "ohhh that's scary" The vocab word is customarily
This one says "I am Jubilant when the last bell rings" and shows the student running from school then sleeping in on a Saturday saying "I am so glad I don't have to go to school" of course the vocab work was jubilant!

Here are the blank comic templates I created....

We are using this vocabulary box to keep all our words (it's an empty tissue box, it was already decorated so I didn't even have to cover it)
I wrote all the words out on these blank business cards (from Vista Print) and put them in the box, at the end of the week we review with all the words we've learned so far.
Students draw a word from the box and then use it in a sentence. Last week we played pictionary with our words it was very interesting to see how the students illustrated their words, and how well their classmates guessed the word by their drawings.

Jane's book is full of many more great ideas, I will share more with you as we try them!

I have one more thing to share, a while back I posted Spooky Math activities with a monster multiplication game. I put in the directions to match the problem with the answer card but forgot all about adding the monster cards to the packet ooopps! So after a couple of emails and finally understanding what everyone was looking for I've got them for you!!! Sorry they weren't there the first time but here they are now if you need them!

Stay tuned tomorrow for another giveaway! I've got Brag Tags coming your way!! I'll be showing you the behavior management system I use along with my tags!


  1. So many awesome vocab ideas! I might try some of these for practicing our spelling words. How did you explain "how a fortune cookie sounds" to your students? I think that would be tricky!

    We are ALL Special!

  2. Thanks for the vocab ideas! We use HM Journeys also - but in 2nd grade we only have 8 vocab words. I'm going to have to try the bumper sticker and fortune cookie ones. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great ideas! I love the fortune cookies and the comics!!

    Mrs. Dixon
    Teaching Special Thinkers


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