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October 9, 2015
by Mary Harrison
Vocabulary Flash Cards
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by Mary Harrison
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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.
- 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.
- Beginning: Ask students to talk to a partner about what they know about the information that can be found in a dictionary.
- Show ELs a dictionary in their home language (L1) and a dictionary in English (L2). Allow them to flip through and compare.
- Have students rephrase what they will be studying in today's lesson in L1 or L2.
- Intermediate: Have ELs discuss what they know about a dictionary with a partner and then share out as a whole group. Allow them to use L1 or L2.
- Provide a word bank for students to use when discussing what they know about the dictionary.
- Display an example of a dictionary entry for the word school. Point out the important components that students need to know as they use a dictionary (part of speech, definitions, example sentence).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling(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.
- Beginning: Provide student-friendly definitions and visuals for the key vocabulary (guide words, entry word).
- Review the different parts of speech by providing a student-friendly definition and examples in students' L1 and L2.
- Allow learners access to a dictionary in their L1 to reference.
- Give learners a partially completed graphic organizer with the entry word, definition, and part of speech to use and follow along with the teacher modeling.
- Intermediate: Provide a student-friendly definition and an example of the parts of speech. Have an EL rephrase the definitions of each and provide additional examples for their peers.
- Give learners a graphic organizer to record the entry word, definition, and part of speech throughout the teacher modeling process.
- Ask learners to verbally summarize the process for finding the meaning of a word. Allow them to discuss in partners using L1 or L2. Provide sentence stems: First, . Then, . Next, _____.
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.
- Beginning: Give learners pre-cut flash cards.
- Provide students with an example flash card to reference throughout the activity.
- Choose basic vocabulary words for ELs.
- Allow ELs to utilize a dictionary in L1 for the activity.
- Intermediate: Partner students intentionally so ELs may discuss in their home language or with a sympathetic peer.
- Allow ELs to choose between a dictionary in L1 or L2.
- Provide sentence frames for students to use when discussing the word: The word ____ should be on this page because ___. The best definition for the word __ is __. The part of speech is ____.
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.
- Beginning: Reduce the number of flash cards ELs are expected to make.
- Allow ELs to work with a small, teacher led group if needed.
- Provide a glossary with student-friendly definitions and images of the vocabulary words.
- Allow ELs to use additional support, such as a bilingual dictionary.
- Intermediate: Allow ELs extra time to complete the flash cards.
- Ask ELs to discuss the words and their definitions and parts of speech with their partner. Provide sentence frames.
- 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.
- 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.
- Beginning: Encourage ELs to use vocabulary words in sentences in L1 or L2.
- Allow students to draw pictures for the vocabulary words in context.
- Provide a word bank of related words for students to use as they create sentences with the vocabulary words.
- Intermediate: Ask ELs to share their sentences with a partner and then with the whole class.
- Have students collaborate with a partner and write their sentences down on a whiteboard. Ask them to choral read the sentence together.
Review and Closing(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.
- Beginning: Ask learners to work with a partner to discuss how the flash cards will help them in the future. Allow them to use L1 or L2 in their discussion.
- Intermediate: Ask learners to share with the class how the flash cards will be helpful in the future. Provide a sentence stem: Flash cards will be helpful because ___.
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