Are you tired of using Kahoot, Quizlet and Quizizz for digital vocabulary review? Me too! Here are a few new, fun and engaging distance learning vocabulary activities!
Who/What Am I?
Each student is assigned a word and given a description, definition, or example of that word. It is most fun when the description is written in first person. For example, if the word is ‘binary fission’ the description would be ‘when I reproduce, I get larger, copy all my DNA, and split in half!”
Students are paired or put into small groups in breakout rooms. Each one reads the description, and the other(s) guess who they are/represent. Then, after a few minutes, groups are reassigned and the process repeats.
If you have more students than vocabulary words, you might have two students represent the same word, but one as an example and the other as a description of the word.
Playing Bingo is always a fun way to review vocabulary. This Bingo Card maker allows you to make digital bingo cards! It provides links to online cards that your students can do during distance learning (or in the classroom to save paper!)
Make a list of terms + definitions for you to read from. Number the terms, and choose a student to pick a random number. Read that definition, then choose another student to pick the next number. Continue until there is a winner – or a few winners!
Show and Tell Analogies
Of all the distance learning vocabulary activities, this is my favorite! Break up the vocabulary list into sets of 3-4 words. Give your class one set of words, and challenge them to find something in their house/surroundings that can represent each word (or as many as they can)! Give them a time limit to keep things on track.
Put students into breakout groups to share their analogies. If time allows, each group can pick their favorite analogy for each word.
Students share their favorite analogies in the big group. Or they can be photographed and posted to Padlet or on a Google Slide. Once the first set of vocabulary is done (or maybe the next day), offer the next set of words.
Or, make a Padlet using the Shelf template. Create a column for each word. Then ask students to take a picture of the items they choose and post them to the Padlet, along with a description of why they chose the item.
If you like the idea of making analogies from home, take a look at this lesson for teaching the parts of the cell!
First, provide students with a full list of the vocabulary words. Everyone chooses a word and draws it, either on paper or digitally in Google Draw. Here is a quick example of a drawing of ‘Photosynthesis’ done in Google Draw!
Give students just a few minutes to create their drawing. Then put students into pairs or small groups to share their drawings. If the drawing is digital, they can show it off by sharing their screens. Here is a quick tutorial on how to share screens in Zoom.
The other members of the group guess what word they have drawn. After some time, bring the whole class together, have everyone choose another word to draw, and put them into new groups.
If you would rather keep everyone together, create a Google Slide with enough blank slides for each student. Students will each choose a slide and draw a picture for their word on the slide.
Padlet is another option for whole-class Pictionary. It also has a Draw feature!
Related: Use Padlet to Teach Digital Lessons!
Then go through each drawing with the whole class, having students try and guess what vocabulary word is represented. Since the whole class method would take much more time, consider doing a few pictures at the start of a lesson, a few in the middle of the lesson, and then the rest at the end of a lesson.