Grade: Senior
Subject: Language

#2409. Keeping Up with Incidental Vocabulary

Language, level: Senior
Posted Tue Oct 23 17:56:53 PDT 2001 by Thad Schmenk (
Fort Dorchester High School, Charleston, SC, USA
Materials Required: poster paper / marker
Activity Time: on-going
Concepts Taught: Objective: Expanding Vocabulary

Warning: THIS IS NOT A GAME Rather, this is a simple, effective way of keeping up with the vocabulary that comes up in class "incidentally."

In the classroom, you sometimes teach kids words that are not in the book. You might have a few phrases or words you would like them to know, but do not come about in the textbook. Or, you tell a student a word they wanted to know during a teachable moment and you think to yourself, "Hey, everyone should know that word because it is a good, useful word." How can you keep up with these words and not work yourself to death in the mean time? And, how can you be sure that your students are retaining these words?

Easy! I keep a big sheet of poster paper or butcher paper on the wall. I just duck tape it right up there. When one of these words comes up, I just grab my marker and write it up there. When the list gets long, I draw a line and tell my students they will be quizzed on these words. Come quiz time, I just simply take the list off the wall and call the English equivalent out. They have to give me the German. The students are responsible for keeping up with writing the list in their notes.

Other ways to use this list: If students use these words during our "talk time", they get extra points. They also make great extra credit points when you need extra credit questions spur of the moment.