If you were to create the ideal vocabulary worksheets for your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students, what would you include?
No doubt, the worksheets would be perfectly aligned to the Common Core Language Strand 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 Standards (whether your state and district are Common Core or not…) These Standards make sense to any teacher. The activities would be concise and be able to be completed independently in no more than ten minutes. You do have other subjects to teach.
The worksheets would be grade-level specific and would not repeat previous grade-level vocabulary instruction. Check out this grades 4−8 vocabulary scope and sequence at the end of the document.
If you were including each Common Core Standard, you would include homonyms: both homophones (sound alike, but spelled differently) and homographs (spelled alike, but sound differently).
You would have to include Greek and Latin prefixes, roots, and suffixes. To maximize memory you would cleverly pair these word parts, e.g., pre (before) + view (to see). Students would use the definitions of the word parts to guess the meaning of the connected word, i.e., preview and would check their own definition with that of the dictionary. Of course, your students would have to divide the word into syllables, i.e., pre/view, place the primary accent (essential for spelling rules), i.e., pré/view, and write out the primary dictionary definition.
Knowing the importance of learning the different types of figures of speech, you would teach the grade-level Standards, e.g., idioms, metaphors, symbolism, adages, iron, puns, etc. Students would have to explain or interpret the use of these language tools in given sentences.
On the back of the worksheet, you would teach students the different forms of word relationships: synonyms, antonyms, part to whole, cause to effect, etc. by requiring students to show the meanings of two related words in context clue sentence.
You would include a semantic spectrum to teach connotative relationships, e.g. frigid, cold, temperate, warm.
Lastly, you would follow the advice of Common Core vocabulary scholars Beck, McKowen, and Kukan by teaching cross-curricular Tier II words to build your students’ academic vocabulary, but which words would you use? The research-based Academic Word List with the four square vocabulary method, i.e., 1. Word and definition (in kid-friendly language) 2. Synonym 3.Antonym 4. Example, characteristic, or picture just makes sense.
If you agree that these components would be included in your ideal vocabulary worksheets, you might wish to check out these FREE resources:
Each resource includes directions, four grade-specific vocabulary worksheets, worksheet answers, vocabulary study cards, and a short unit test with answers.
Or if you don’t want to re-invent the wheel… Why not order the full year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit for your grade level with a special 10% discount when you enter coupon code 3716 at check out? If you want the
comprehensive Grammar, Mechanics, Spelling, and Vocabulary (Teaching the Language Strand) program with accompanying student workbooks, we invite you to read these product descriptions.