3 Vocabulary Activities for Middle School That Don't Stink


We all know teaching vocabulary is the key to making gains in reading comprehension for Middle School, but how can we make it more interesting?  Here's 3 great ideas!

When I talk to others about teaching vocabulary, no one gets jazzed by it.  Everyone thinks it's boring and an ever so arduous task.  But I'm here to tell you it can be fun and when you use any of these activities to teach word parts like prefixes, suffixes, (and the like) you give your Middle School students a huge boost in reading comprehension opportunities!

Here are 3 of my best vocabulary activities for middle school that don't stink!

1.  Vocabulary Tic-Tac-Toe

A low prep, easy to implement on the fly, vocabulary game!

This game is a class favorite and gets the entire group engaged and involved!  This is how it is played:

1.  Divide the class into two teams.  One is the “x” team and one is the “o” team.

2.  Draw a tic-tac-toe board on the whiteboard.

3.  Ask a question to the first member of the “x” team. If he/she is correct, then he/she places the x on the board!  If he/she is incorrect, he/she simply loses the chance to place the “x” on the board.

4.  Now repeat #3 with the “o” team. 

5.  Continue with each member of each team until you have a winner with 3 in a row!  You might even give bonus points as a prize!

The best part about this game is that you can play this any time on the fly with any questions you might have normally just asked of the class in general!

2.  Vocabulary Game Show

Make vocabulary - including word parts - FUN with a Game Show!

This one takes a bit more prep because you need to set up a Jeopardy board.  But you can use a free site like Jeopardy Labs and enter any questions you want/need.  

At the time of this post, there were several games that other teachers had already made using various word parts!

I play this in teams in my classroom.  If you already use teams as a behavior management strategy, then this makes your team points even more exciting!

If you do not use teams as part of your behavior management system, kids still love it and will totally be engaged!

3.  Vocabulary Scrabble - with word parts

Do you remember magnetic poetry?  You would get sets of words on magnets and you would arrange them to make poems.

So then I had the idea to do something like a hybrid of magnetic poetry with Scrabble using only word parts.

The idea is to play Scrabble but instead of letter tiles, you have word parts on tiles and you can only play prefixes and suffixes on words that they make sense with.  

This would definitely take some time to create, but how fun would this be?  I'm currently working on this with the most common word parts.  As soon as it's done, I will post it here.  :)

So that's it - three of my best vocabulary activities for Middle School that do not stink!  I am going to use these with word parts to boost my middle school students' reading comprehension skills.  I know they'll love the games so hopefully, this will help those word parts stick!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Make vocabulary in middle school fun again!