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Vocabulary Charts

Vocabulary charts can be very useful in helping students widen their passive and active vocabulary based on related word group areas. Typically, students will often learn new vocabulary by simply writing lists of new vocabulary words and then memorize these words by rote. Unfortunately, this technique often provides few contextual clues. Rote learning helps "short term" learning for exams etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't really provide a "hook" with which to remember new vocabulary. Vocabulary charts, on the other hand, provide this "hook" by placing vocabulary in connected categories thus helping "long term" memorization. In this lesson, you will find a printable vocabulary chart and a lesson outline focusing on creating in-class vocabulary charts.

Aim:Creation of vocabulary charts to be shared around the class

Activity:Awareness raising of effective vocabulary learning techniques followed by vocabulary tree creation in groups

Level: Any level


  • Begin lesson by asking students to explain how they go about learning new vocabulary.
  • Explain the concept of "short term" and "long term" learning and the importance of contextual clues for effective "long term" memorization.
  • Present the idea of creating vocabulary charts to help students learn specific content related vocabulary.
  • Distribute a copy of the example vocabulary chart.
  • Divide students into small groups asking them to create vocabulary charts based on a particular subject area.
    Example: house, sports, the office, etc.
  • Students create vocabulary charts in small groups.
  • Copy student created vocabulary charts and distribute the copies to the other groups. In this way, the class generates a large amount of new vocabulary in a relatively short amount of time.

Example Vocabulary Chart

Example Vocabulary Tree

Vocabulary Chart Printing Page

Back to lessons resource page

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