Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to Ghost by Jason Reynolds.
Students will preview the terms and definitions and use whole class or small group discussion to demonstrate their understanding of each meaning. This can be done at the beginning of each chapter so that students can preview what they will read or teachers could decide to do at the end of a chapter as an assessment. Students will create a Spider map of 3-5 terms at the teachers discretion. Each cell will contain a term, its definition and an illustration that depicts the meaning. When students define and illustrate each term, they master the application of it and retain it as part of their lexicon.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Create a storyboard that defines and illustrates vocabulary from Ghost.
Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions, and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Before a vocabulary lesson, you should preview the list of words with students to see what they already know. They may know some definitions outright, or they may be able to put word parts together to understand certain words. Activating prior knowledge brings success at the beginning of the activity, which is so helpful for student learners.
There are a variety of context clue strategies that you can teach students so they can understand the context of a word. From the synonym/antonym technique to an explanation embedded in the text, students will be able to understand what words mean based on how they relate to other words in the sentence.
Students learn best by doing, so if you really want to help them learn vocabulary, have them write a definition or example sentence, as well as draw an illustration of the word or a scene that shows the word in action. This helps students retain understanding.
When students learn vocabulary in context, rather than just memorizing the definitions of a list of words, they are more likely to retain their knowledge and use the context to make further connections with the words. This aids both present and future learning.
Before definitions are presented, it is helpful for students to activate prior knowledge about vocabulary words they already know. This deeper connection with the subject matter will help students remember the words better in the long-term.
Drawings are a great way to help students learn and remember. Activating the more creative side of the brain keeps the words and their definitions more easily embedded in a student's lexicon.