Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vocabulary Card Sort

I am always looking for ways to make boring vocabulary a little less boring. Here's what my intern and I did last week. It turned out better than I expected and so I figured I would share. This took two 45 minute periods.

1.) The students worked with me to fill out a basic vocabulary sheet. I already had the definitions typed in the boxes. The students had to fill in the words and the pictures. I had 28 words total otherwise I probably would have had the students write the definitions, as well.

2.) I then typed up squares with only the vocabulary words in them--one word per square. The students were arranged in pairs and cut out all the words. When they were finished they had 28 individual word cards on their desks.

3.) The students were asked to complete a card sort. They had to take all 28 vocabulary words and put them into categories. They created the categories. They were allowed to use the vocabulary sheets from day #1 to help. I gave them the following guidelines: (a) must have at least three categories (b) at least two words per category (c) must be academic categories

4.) The students worked diligently to arrange their cards. I walked around and questioned/challenged some of their choices. They were made to justify the choices they made. When they were satisfied with their categories they made titles from blank squares. They arranged them neatly on their desks. I came by and took a picture with my iPad.

5.) They had to choose one of the categories and write a paragraph using all the words within that category. (This was a good idea but I probably needed better instructions for the students because not all of them produced quality paragraphs.)

6.) They taped their categories together and hung them on the wall. I plugged the iPad into the projector and the partners presented their categories to the class.