Lesson Plan:

Vocabulary Flash Cards

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October 9, 2015
by Mary Harrison

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use a dictionary to find the part of speech and definition of specific terms.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Have students join you in a group area.
  • Make sure each student or each pair of students has a dictionary.
  • Tell students that you are going to practice looking up words in the dictionary and then they are going to make their own flash cards to help practice their vocabulary.
  • Tell them that this is an important skill because in the future, they may want to make flash cards to help them study for a test.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Pick a word and show them how to use the guide words at the top of the page of the dictionary to help them find the entry word in the dictionary.
  • Once everyone has found the word, ask students for the word's part of speech. Show them where to find that in the entry.
  • Next, ask them for the definition. If there is more than one, let them know that the first definition is the one used most commonly. Have them figure out how many definitions there are and discuss why there would be multiple meanings.
  • Repeat steps 3-5 until you feel like the majority of your kids can manage on their own.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Have students return to their desks with their dictionaries.
  • Give each student a piece of white paper or card stock.
  • Tell them to each fold the paper hot dog style, then hamburger style, then hamburger style again so they have eight squares when they open it.
  • Have them cut out their squares.
  • Have them pick a vocabulary word from the list you provided and write it on one side of their card.
  • Have them write their name at the bottom of the card in case it falls off of their desk.
  • Tell them to look up the word in the dictionary.
  • Show them on the board that on the back of their card they need to write the part of speech and the first definition given for their word (or the definition for the word as it is being used in the context of your lesson as some definitions depend on pronunciation rather than spelling).
  • Have them write the part of speech and definition on the back of the card.
  • Walk around the room to make sure each child has done this correctly.

Independent Working Time (30 minutes)

  • Have students complete their flash cards with their partner or independently for the remainder of their cards.
  • Allow them to decorate them if there's enough time.



  • Enrichment Have advanced students write two definitions for each vocabulary word or complete more than the minimum number of flash cards.
  • Support Have struggling students work on the assignment as a group, with your guidance. You can also only have them complete four cards one day and four cards the next so they are not overwhelmed.


Assessment (10 minutes)

  • Ask them to pair up and practice using the vocabulary words in sentences.
  • Observe them as they work, and assess their understanding based on the sentences they construct.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Give each student a recloseable sandwich bag with his name on it to keep his cards in.

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