Chapter 9

The Best Ways to Teach Vocabulary


In chapter 9, a Word Wall is discussed as a UDL strategy because it provides a place of permanence for words that you expect students to use, to own, throughout the year. On the left is a picture of a Word Wall used in Clare Eggleston's music class. You can visit her web site here.

The chapter also notes the importance of game playing when learning vocabulary. Here is the link to a great Pinterest site that includes ideas for of a number of fun vocabulary activities.  In addition to the ideas in the chapter, the Teaching Channel also has a number of short videos (5 min.) which showcase creative ideas for teaching vocabulary. Choose one of the videos below to see vocabulary game-playing in action.

This video, Vocabulary Paint Chipsfeaturing Sarah Brown Wessling, National Teacher of the Year, includes a great technique for teaching vocabulary. As you are watching, consider the following questions:

  • What scaffolds does Ms. Wessling put into place to get her students using new vocabulary?
  • Which words are best suited for paint chips?
  • How could you use paint chips in your classroom?

Or you may watch this video, Kick Me: Making Vocabulary Interactive, with Jodi Macauley and consider the following questions.

  • Why is setting a time limit essential to this activity?
  • How can this activity be used as both a pre-teaching and review activity?
  • What are the learning benefits of allowing students to be mobile?