Memorizing new vocabulary can be tough, but getting creative with the process can be a big help. Here's a great activity to get your child using imagination and artistic skills to create a handmade vocabulary book, complete with illustrations!
Set aside one sheet of paper for each new word that is to be introduced or practice.
Place the pages in a stack and fold them all into half to form a booklet. Staple the folded edge so that the pages hold together.
Open your booklet to the first two-page spread. At the top of the left-hand page, have your child write the first vocabulary word on her list.
Next, your child should use her drawing supplies to illustrate the word. Her interpretation can be straightforward or abstract, just as long as she is applying her knowledge of what the word means.
When she has finished her first drawing, have her write a sentence that correctly uses the new vocabulary word on the top of the right-hand page.
She should then use the rest of the right-hand page to illustrate the sentence. For instance, if the sentence is something like “Lighthouses help ships know where land is so that they don't run into things,” she might draw a lighthouse with a ship, a ship run aground, or a sailor looking through a telescope. Here she can let her imagination and creativity free!
Write and illustrate the rest of her vocabulary words on the remaining page spreads of the booklet. This doesn't have to happen all in one day: in fact, you can use a blank notebook or simply keep adding to her handmade booklet to make an illustrated vocabulary book containing all her fourth grade vocabulary!
Chris McAllister spent nine years teaching fourth and fifth graders in two metro Atlanta school systems. He challenged his students with technology-based projects and was recognized as the first-ever Outstanding Technology-Integrating Teacher of the Year for Shoal Creek Elementary.