Lesson plan

Vocabulary Flash Cards

Making flash cards is something done by students of all ages. Help your kids develop good study habits with this lesson plan, which will teach them how to use flash cards and a dictionary to learn new vocabulary.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Vocabulary Practice pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Need extra help for EL students? Try the Vocabulary Practice pre-lesson.

Students will be able to define key terms and identify their part of speech.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Have students join you in a group area.
  • Make sure each student, or each pair of students, has a dictionary. A dictionary is a resource that gives information about words.
  • Tell students that they are going to practice looking up words in the dictionary and then they are going to make their own flash cards, which are cards containing a small amount of important information to help you learn something. The cards will be used to practice their vocabulary. Vocabulary is the list of words to learn.
  • 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.
(10 minutes)
  • Pick a word and show them how to use the guide words at the top of the dictionary pages. Explain that guide words are the terms at the top of the dictionary pages that help you figure out which words are on those pages. The entry word is the word or phrase that is at the beginning of a dictionary entry.
  • 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 the process until you feel that the majority of students can manage on their own.
(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 student has done this correctly.
(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.

(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.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student a recloseable sandwich bag with his name on it to keep his cards in.
  • Have learners explain how flash cards will help them in the future.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items