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Academic Vocabulary

Content vocabulary is crucial to English Language Learners. School is the only place they will ever come in contact with these words, so we need to make them stick! Here are 6 steps to help your students remember and use those content specific words.

Step 1 - Teacher introduces the term with a description, explanation, or example

Step 2 - Students restate the description, explanation or example in their own words.

Step 3 - Students construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representing the term.

Step 4 - Teacher engages students in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the term.

Step 5 - Students discuss the terms with each other periodically.

Step 6 - Students play games with the terms periodically.

Game of the Week!

What is the Question?

Make a jeopardy type grid with content areas across the top and point values down the side. Each box has a vocabulary word that matches its content column. Cover all the words with post-it notes (or make this a Smart Board activity!) The teacher removes a post-it and the student must ask a question to which the uncovered word is the answer. For example, if the word were "earthquake", acceptable student responses might be "What is measured by the Richter scale?" or "Why are people in California worried about the San Andreas Fault?". Teams may answer cooperatively or one member at a time to earn points for the correct question. Older students can make this game and switch it with other teams.

This is a picture of a question game chart.