Motivation Spice: Vocabulary

  • Situation

    In my Language Arts classes students must look up 15 vocabulary words and write the meanings. I have such a variety of learners that I don’t think this is the best method to teach the words anymore. I have students who are bored, students who have difficulty locating the words, or difficulty summarizing the definition. When it is homework it is rarely completed well by many students if completed at all. The entire task is laborious, what else can I do to teach these words and ensure the students are learning and not groaning?

  • Summary

    First be aware that choice and technology can increase motivation. Research tells us that less homework increases the rate of completion. Utilize all these methods with your assignments. Give students the definitions with the words in a word bank. Have them utilize the computer or iPad to locate the definition and place the word where it belongs. Allow students to choose how many they will complete (you give the choices such as 5, 10, or all 15). Next, give them a choice of using any amount of the words in their own created story or using the word/s at home with a caretaker. They report on either one to the class the next day.

  • Definition

    Vocabulary Spice Up is simply a way to make learning motivating and increase the rate of homework completion. Using technology and student choice for how to do the homework increases motivation and learning. Giving choices for the amount of homework increases the rate of completion and learning.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    modified assignments

  • Process

    1. Create a worksheet with definitions of vocabulary words for Language Arts. Provide a word bank to be used for the definitions.


    2. Give students a choice of the amount of words and which words they will match to the definition. Provide the choice of 5, or 10, or all the words.


    3. Allow students the choice of technology if available to locate the words such as the computer or an iPad.


    4. Give student 2 or 3 choices of homework formats such as: Use any amount of vocabulary words to create your own story; use any amount of words to use during a discussion at home with a parent; or they create their own teacher approved format.


    5. Have student present their homework results to the class.

  • Documents and Related Resources




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