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I'd like to share a method or two I use for bringing vocabulary to life. Introducing new words can be boring to students, however, by playing games with words you can make this subject come alive. One thing I do to excite students about new words is the class plays a game called "SWAT."
I call to students to the front of the room and provide them with rubber fly swatters (You can get them cheap at the dollar store). I project the vocabulary words onto the white board then, when I call out the definition of one of those words, the students must be the first to cover the proper word with their swatter. If a students wins, they stay up in the front of the room until defeated.
The class has a blast playing this game!
Another trick I use to engage students in vocabulary is a game called Elimination Ball, where a student is passed a beach ball, and they must provide the correct spelling and/or definition of a word. If they get it wrong, they are out of the game and must sit down. If they get it right, they get to "eliminate" another student of their choice from the game (students who are eliminated are taught to consider it an honor that their peers think they are so good at vocabulary).
Finally, to keep students who get out interested in the game, I allow them to come back into the game if the ball accidentally touches the floor when it is passed between students. The first student to silently raise their hand gets back into the game.
So there are two ways to make vocabulary words come to life. What works well for your class? How do you make your vocabulary come alive?