Lesson Plan

Robust Vocabulary

Engage students in thinking about and using new words with these meaningful and fun vocabulary activities!
Jen W.
Classroom teacher
Avonworth Elementary School
Pittsburgh, PA
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My Grades 3
My Subjects English Language Arts
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor


Students will be able to...

  • Pronounce vocabulary words
  • Provide a student- friendly definition
  • Associate vocabulary with other known words
  • Use word(s) in context
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook


Ahead of your lesson, create a voice thread with as many pages as vocabulary words you are introducing (3-5)  You can upload an image to go with a word, a document or a short video.  You could also scan the page where the word will be introduced.  From there, you can add text, as well as record an introduction about that vocabulary word. In addition, you could have teammates add voice threads about the word. This would be a great way to capture attention while connecting the vocabulary to the text where they will encounter the word. Students would enjoy hearing the voice recordings from various mystery teachers. 

2 Direct Instruction

Students are familiar with baseball and sports cards and will enjoy the teacher modeling how to use the "vocabulary" option on the Trading Cards.  First, fill in the meaning, part of speech , synonyms and antonyms.  Then you can make associations with other words, come up with a word clue, as well as make a personal connection by creating a sentence.  You are able to print,email and save the cards you create. 

3 Guided Practice

After teacher modeling, give small groups or partners a vocabulary word to create their own Trading Card. Since the cards are guided with specific activities to complete, it is easy to see where a student may need extra help. The cards could be differentiated for learners since the activities on the cards are scaffolded by difficulty.  Students could compare their cards to premade teacher card and/ or other groups who did same vocabulary word. 

4 Independent Practice

Students could make a presentation using their knowledge about a vocabulary word.  Students could make recordings with annotations to display mastery of their vocabulary word.   Presentations can be emailed, shared, and saved to your camera roll.  This would be a great way to create tutorials to help students who missed class, or simply a way to provide clarification and other examples of word usage.

5 Wrap-Up

This would be an extension to further build, review and practice their everyday growing vocabulary.  Students are given a word and asked a multiple choice question about the definition.  The site becomes addicting since every correct answer earns 10 grains of rice through the World Food Program to help end hunger.   Students are given a visual and see a bowl filling up with rice to motivate them to answer more vocabulary questions.