Practicing Science Vocabulary

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SWBAT practice using science vocabulary.

Big Idea

Learning science vocabulary is hard. Engage students with graphic organizers and vocabulary games.

Compare & Contrast With A Venn Diagram

20 minutes

This lesson focuses on CCSS L.6.5b  which states use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.

I want students to practice using precise science vocabulary and there are a variety of strategies to do that. Some strategies include: using a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast concepts, writing about the term using The Frayer Model, and playing vocabulary games.

In this lesson I use a Venn Diagram as a tool for students to make connections among concepts. Venn Diagrams are organizational tools where students visually compare and contrast information and examine relationships. I want students to identify similarities and differences between the concepts Renewable Resource and Nonrenewable Resource.

I provide a template of the Venn Diagram for each student and have them collaborate with their partner to complete it. I want students to work for 10 minutes to gather information from a variety of sources including the textbook, nonfiction articles, and an interactive word wall on display in the classroom.

I want students to share their thoughts and ideas about the concepts so I bring the class back together for a whole group discussion. At that time, I use popsicle sticks to draw all students into the conversation and hear their comments. I facilitate a whole group discussion for 10 minutes and write answers on the Venn Diagram. You can post these answers on a document camera or SMARTBoard.


20 minutes

Pictionary with Pond Vocabulary.

Games are an interactive, instructional strategy. Games are not only social but a great learning tool. Games add an element of competition and motivate students.

I create a list of science terms and definitions for the game. Then, divide the class into two (2) team and sit them on opposite sides of the room. I use an easel and large pad of drawing paper for each team. One member from each team comes to pick a marker to draw and I show each team the word and definition. Teams of students have one (1) minute to get their respective team to say the word by only drawing pictures or clues. Students cannot draw letters or numbers, or use words or gestures. The first team to say the word scores a point.


Optional: Teams can review their notes from previous lessons in the unit and collectively develop their own list of words for the game.