I created the idea of Living Vocabulary when I noticed my students were having difficulty remembering and incorporating vocabulary we learned together in school. Living vocabulary is a sort of treasure hunt that can be played in and out of school . Children look for their vocabulary words at home, in the super market, on billboards, and everywhere!
To help us incorporate all the vocabulary we learn we have an ongoing vocabulary hunt throughout the year. Each week we learn 15 new words that the children illustrate on cards and place on a bulletin board in the back of the room. Each word becomes part of a treasure hunt in and out of school.Each time a student finds one of our vocabulary words in a text and shows it to me they earn a point. If they use the vocabulary word in school they can earn a point. If they use it at home and a parent sends me an email or text they can earn a point. Wherever they find a word ( even at the zoo) if they can show it to me or a parent informs me of it , we get a point.When the class has earned 100 points we have a celebration.
I called this game Living Vocabulary because the children began seeing these words and using these words in their everyday lives. They then incorporated the words into their daily vocabulary making the process much more fun and natural.
Last year we leaned over 250 words in fourth grade. The children found those words everywhere around Memphis. In Fourth grade last year we had 5 vocabulary celebrations. This year we have had 1 and are on our way to a second!
Below are the photos :
Rivki Wiener has been teaching elementary school for the past 22 years. Rivki received her BA in education from Stern College For Women and her MA in education from Wilkes University. Over the year she has taught general studies on grade levels 1-6. Currently she is teaching general studies in grades 2 and 4.