September 15, 2011

Learning and Practicing Vocabulary, Part 2

Last week several teachers shared ideas for introducing and practicing vocabulary. Here are some more:

I know that this isn't the most creative idea, but one of the ways I like to reinforce my vocabulary is by creating puzzles for free on (the actual url is ). The crossword puzzles are great because they are teacher-generated, so you can make them as complicated as you'd like (e.g., "accusative singular of 'city'"). Sometimes I will make a grammar warmup ("conjugate sum, esse in the Present and Imperfect Subjunctive" or "decline urbs, urbis, -ium") and give them a wordsearch for the lesson's closure--the students will need the right forms in order to solve the puzzle. I tend to end my week by giving them a puzzle like this for the last 5-10 minutes of class Friday--affectionately known as "Puzzle-Friday" by my kids.

I also like to make students create their own vocabulary drills. Sometimes for a warm-up I will have them create ten illustrations from their vocabulary lists, and I cut them up and rearrange their pictures to create the vocabulary warm-ups for the reviews for the rest of the week. (Low-tech but effective).

Masters, K. Re: [Latinteach] Latin III vocab lists (Roeder, Lisa). Latinteach listserv (, 19 Aug 2011).

A list of different online word search generators (including Puzzlemaker) is available at

Another useful website is Spelling City – once you or your students enter a spelling list the website generates different practice activities.

Read an idea for using dual language texts to present vocabulary at this blog:

Read reviews of 7 online applications for improving English vocabulary at

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