Words You Can See

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
This next little ditty deserves a drum roll ....barummmmmmmmm... this year our students kept a visual dictionary in their notebook.  We tried this two ways: 
1.  7 pieces of copy paper folded into a booklet 
2.  including it as a section in our notebook  
Either way, it works great! 

In each lesson, academic vocabulary was pre-taught.  We would write the word and have a discussion about what they knew/thought they knew about the term.  We would then write a student friendly definition.  Lastly, students came up with an illustration that helped them link the word and definition.  We would talk about a couple of examples as a class, and students could pick the one that worked for them.  

My illustrations ranged from unfortunate to gross- even scandalous once.  It was an accident.  I promise!

New words were applied to class assignments that day and were there for future reference.  It also saved me lots of words.  We didn't have to reteach, reteach, reteach what a simile was.  Students could reference their dictionaries anytime and were encouraged to do so.  

I know that our visual dictionary benefited all students but was incredibly powerful for our LEP population.

1 comment

  1. I am kind of embarrassed to say this, but Visual Dictionaries didn't work as well in my classroom as I thought they would :( It's definitely because of me. First off, I think I like including it as a section in their notebook rather than folding computer paper and making a book...that can be lost...even if there's a folder for it. Next year, I definitely plan on pre-teaching vocabulary and then making sure we put the definitions in our Visual Dictionaries. I really do believe that putting the definition in its own place AND coming up with a visual representation of that definition lets kids see and remember and learn the term. I will definitely implement this strategy more (and better) in my classroom!