Vocabulary Card

Purpose:  A vocabulary card provides students with a variety of approaches for learning new words.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes per vocabulary word.

Materials Needed:  index card or sheet of paper for each student. Pens or marker.


(It is important to do this ahead of time. You will NOT be able to come up with ideas in the heat of the moment!)

1)  Choose vocabulary words to be introduced. Introduce no more than 2-3 per session.

2)  Generate a simple DEFINITION of the word. Teach only ONE meaning of a word at a time.

3)  Generate a SYNONYM for the word. Make sure that the synonym is easier than the target word.

4)  Generate a SENTENCE using the word in context.


1)  Give each student an index card. On the board, model dividing the card into 4 quadrants with your pen. Have the students do the same on their cards.

2)  In the upper left hand box, have the students write the target word, for example  “challenge”

3)  Provide the definition of the word and have the students write in the upper right hand box: “Something that is difficult to do.”

4)  Provide a synonym for the word and have them write it in the lower right hand box: “hard”

5)  Provide a sentence that puts the word in context. Have the students write it in the bottom left hand box: “It is a challenge for me to not eat too much pizza.”

6)  Encourage the students to generate their own sentences : “It is a challenge for me to get up early “ etc.

7)  Have students keep the words in a file so that they can review frequently. Make sure to practice the words in subsequent lessons.

Optional: have the students draw a PICTURE of the word on the back of the card.

Optional: have the students ACT OUT the word.

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