Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Around we go the Vocabulary Carousel

Vocabulary. The word alone can bring instant boredom to any student. But, research (Marzano) has proven that the more opportunities students have to interact with words, the better they retain the meaning and acquire a richer vocabulary. So, put away those dictionaries and try a vocabulary carousel during your next vocabulary instruction! The best part about this activity is that you can use it for just about any subject and it's fun!

 Before introducing new words for a story or unit, I first type out the words and find a picture to represent the word. 

I also type the definitions to the words and place it under the document camera for the students to see.

I then scatter the vocabulary cards around the student desks. My student desks are arranged in groups, so my students travel to each table group and read the vocabulary card that is on that table group. The students' goal is to see if they can figure out the meaning of the word on their own. Notice that the vocabulary words are not included with the definitions above? The students look at the picture on the vocabulary card along with the part of speech and try to figure out the meaning of the word by using the definitions I typed to help them.

My students then record their guesses on the paper I provided below. They record the word from the vocabulary card and write which definition number they think belongs to that word. The students work in teams of four and I give them about 2 minutes at each table group. Once time is up, they travel to the next table group and so on until they've made it around to each word. I love the discussion the students have when trying to figure out the meaning of the vocabulary terms!

Once they are finished, we discuss the words and what the actual definitions are. I definitely see my students grasp the vocabulary words with this activity much more than they would if I were to simply tell them the meanings on my own.

What do you do to introduce or teach new vocabulary terms in your classroom?


  1. Hi there! I am your newest follower! Awesome blog! Great vocab ideas. We are all about Marzano in my district too! :)
    Justin- Writing Pad Dad
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  2. So nice to meet you! I am a new follower to your blog and enjoyed reading your post! I teach first grade so we have many celebrations for introducing new words each week! This week, we have Lizard, the Word Wizard explaining new high frequency words to us! (Don't you just love the little ones!!)
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
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  3. Thanks for your comment! We will go over to your blog right now!

  4. Terrific! I'm going to try this to introduce the vocabulary from the novels we read. Your clip-art choices are great!
    Thanks for the idea!

  5. I just found your blog and I LOVE it! Thanks for the your vocab ideas! I am your newest follower!

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten

    1. Thanks for following us! We are heading over to your blog right now!



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