Making Flash Cards

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Objective

SWBAT make a set of flash cards to help learn vocabulary words

Big Idea

Learn new words in a flash!

Strategy

45 minutes

When learning the first set of words, I had my students make flash cards to help them study.  Sixth graders don't typically come equipped with good study skills, so I feel that it is part of my job to help teach them how to study.  

Each student made his or her own flash cards by folding and cutting card stock.  On the front of each card, I had them write the vocabulary word and draw a simple picture.  For many students this visual cue will help them link to the word and remember it.  On the other side of the card, the student wrote the definition(s) and used the word in an original sentence.  The sentence had to have at least 3 out of the 5 questions answered:  Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? I use this guideline to make sure that students write sentences that prove they understand the meaning.  

For example: If the vocabulary word is impartial, a student might write...

The impartial judge listened to both sides of the story during the trial.  

This sentence answers Who?  the judge, What?  Both sides, When? during the trial

This sentence would show me that the student knows the meaning of the word and how to use it correctly. 

Research on strategic vocabulary instruction shows that a student needs to be exposed to a new word around 7 times before it it is theirs.  The idea behind the flash cards is just that they can practice independently with them and help commit the word to memory.  The Wordly Wise packet is great because they use the word in context, work with antonyms, synonyms, and analogies, and practice breaking the words down into parts.