5 Engaging Ways to Review Vocabulary

Are your students struggling with vocabulary? Looking to make vocabulary instruction and review exciting for students? I'm sharing five ENGAGING, collaborative ways to review vocabulary with your students! All of these vocabulary activities would work best with partners and/or groups.

1.     Find your match- Divide students into groups. Assign each group a vocabulary word and give them 4 sticky notes. Students will write the word, definition, synonym, and antonym on each of the sticky notes. Collect all the sticky notes. Then, give each student in the class ONE random sticky note and have them stick it on themselves somewhere visible. (They may have a word, synonym, definition, or antonym!)  Students will walk around the classroom and try to find their ‘vocabulary group’.  (Matching word, definition, synonym, and antonym) 

Grab a FREE vocabulary map printable below!


2.     Vocabulary Charades- I use this as a review activity right before our weekly vocabulary test! I assign a vocabulary word to each pair of students (sometimes we have three students per group. It all depends on how many words & students you have.) Students are given five minutes to discuss with their group and come up with a mini ‘skit’ to represent their word. Their skit must be completely silent! Everything must be acted out. They come to the front of the class and act out their word. Once they are done, they get to choose an audience member to guess what word they were acting out. (audience members must also explain what the word means)


3.     Bean Bag Story Toss- Start by giving your class a story starter. (For ex: “I opened my desk drawer and couldn’t believe what I spotted inside!”) Then, toss a beanbag to a student. That student must add a sentence to the story and use one of their vocabulary words in the sentence. He/she will then toss the beanbag to another classmate and that classmate will add another sentence to the story. Continue until all students have had a chance! 

You might want to record the story on anchor chart paper as the students add on and read the final product at the end!


4.     Word Detectives- Pair up students and give them a piece of chart paper. Students will write sentences with their vocabulary words. (or a story if you have higher achieving students) Have students cover up the vocabulary word in each sentence using a sticky note. They can also just draw a blank instead of actually writing the vocabulary word. Students will then trade chart papers with another group. Each group will use context clues within the sentences to try and guess the missing vocabulary word. 


5.     Prefix/Suffix Competition- Set up a line of buckets filled with prefix and suffix strips inside. Students will pick up a vocabulary card and then toss a beanbag inside a bucket. If they make it, they will get to pick a paper strip from inside. If the prefix or suffix matches their word and they are able to make a new word, they score a point for their team!  


EX: Student picks the word “fortunate” and the prefix “un”. Since he is able to make the word ‘unfortunate’, he scores a point for his team.

Here are some of my favorite vocabulary review resources!

Vocabulary Camp Task Cards and ELA Center Activities:(PRINTABLE and DIGITAL) Includes six sets of task cards focusing on context clues, multiple meaning words, prefixes and suffixes, antonyms and synonyms. Also includes DIGITAL versions of all task cards compatible with Google Slides! :)

Prefix & Suffix Task Cards (PRINTABLE and DIGITAL): Review third grade prefixes and suffixes with your students with these fun task cards/Boom Cards! 


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