Thursday, May 31, 2012

Visualizing Vocabulary

As my school year has already ended, (YIPPEE for summer!), I have been organizing, going through pictures, and reflecting on my year.  This school year was the first year I pulled out a small reading intervention group to support them with the Treasures reading program.  Vocabulary instruction can be a bit of a challenge to keep kids motivated and interested, especially when I only have thirty minutes with them and every second counts!  

One day this past spring, my sweet little group came to me, all wiggly with a touch of spring fever.  This was a very motivated small group of first graders who loved to color and do crafts, and definitely had an artistic learning style.  On a whim, I grabbed the crayons and some white copy paper.  I introduced the vocab words for the day, told them to close their eyes, and visualize- picture in their minds- what they saw when I said the word.  They were so excited and got busy with their illustrations.  Then, I had them use the word in a sentence and write it somewhere on the paper.  We then placed them on my CAFE bulletin board under Vocabulary, of course!

Below are a few samples of what they did, complete with their invented spelling.  They absolutely loved this simple idea, and although it took a bit more time than I had planned, they were so proud of their picture cards and could not wait to read the story to see what the danger was!


When I do this again, I will have them write the vocab word on the back and have the other students try and guess what the word is based on the picture clue.  It is also a great tool for reviewing vocabulary, retelling the story, sorting the cards ( if each child does a different word) by part of speech, beginning letter, etc.

I hope you found this useful, and I would love to read your comments!

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