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Using Word Lists

Lesson Plans > Language Arts

Using Word Lists

Usually we have word lists hanging around the classrooms. These lists can be useful to reinforce the different skills being taught. They are also useful for word recognition practice and when teaching a second language.

  • Riddles

  • Invent riddles with the words on a chart. Using a weather chart word list an example might be: "something very hot and bright = the sun"


  • ABC activities



  • Put the words in order by the first letter, first two letters, etc.

  • Name all the words beginning with the same letter, ending with the same letter


  • Count the number of letters in each word - which is the longest, the shortest?



  • Doing this activity is another way to reinforce the student's ability to remember and visualize the words by their lengths; it is also useful as a counting practice activity


  • Definitions



  • Having to think of a definition for a word, helps children retain it. This is also a fun activity as some of the definitions you get from the children are quite unique and interesting and an eye opener about the child and his environment.


  • Use a word to make a sentence.

  • Use a word to make a question.



  • This activity is specially helpful for ESL teachers. Formulating questions is usually difficult for children learning a second language.



  • Classify




  • Order the words by subject: all animal names, toys, means of transport, etc. With older children it can be used to reinforce nouns, verbs, or other skills being taught.


  • Collect more words.



  • Adding to the list the new words learned helps to remember them, to visualize them in a different context. This can also be used as a challenging activity, asking children to find new words to add to our list at home, around them, in books, etc.


  • Illustrating

  • Look for words that rhyme.

  • Look for words that illustrate phonics rules.



  • Find words with two vowels together, words ending in e, etc.


  • Look for synonyms.

  • Look for antonyms.

  • Copy your favorite word on a card to use in another activity or to make your own word bank.



  • Some suggestions: make your own word bank to use for story writing; for word practice; for flash card games. Later the children can take it home to show their parents all the new words they have learned.
Lesson by Carole Elkeles

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