6 Fun Vocabulary Activities to Use with Any Word List

In the dynamic world of education, engaging students in the learning process is the key to success. As teachers, we often find ourselves searching for innovative ways to review and reinforce vocabulary terms, making sure our students not only understand but also retain the essential concepts. Whether you’re teaching elementary school or middle school, language arts or science, this is your one-stop destination for 6 exciting and effective activities that can be tailored to suit any word list. Say goodbye to traditional rote memorization and hello to a world of fun and interactive vocabulary review. 

6 Ways to Review Vocabulary Terms

Vocabulary Activity #1 - Vocabulary Jeopardy

Just like the game show, this activity will have students review important terms. 

To set up, the top row should have the following categories: 

  • Define
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Sentence

Assign a point value in the first column or vary it depending on the category. Definitions might be a lesser amount than sentences. 

Students will answer questions based on their understanding of the vocabulary list. 

Teacher tip: Switch terms and definitions. In the sentence category, choose to have students fill in the blank with the correct terms or create their own sentence! 

Vocabulary Activity #2: Post-It Stations

What to do with all those sticky notes? Here’s an idea! 

  1. Write each term on a piece of chart paper and stick them around the room. 
  2. Give students small Post-its to practice creating original sentences for each term. 
  3. Students walk around the room and place the Post-it at each station. 

Read the sentences aloud to determine accuracy. 

Teacher tip: Have students edit the sentences for proper capitalization, verb usage, and punctuation. 

Vocabulary Activity #3: Where's the Lie?

Put your students to work by having them create a vocabulary game! 

  1. Using Google Slides, type the term and add boxes for students to add in choices for the correct definition. 
  2. Assign the file so all students can edit.
  3. Tell students to choose one vocabulary term, fill in the correct definitions in one of the choices and two incorrect definitions. 
  4. When the file is completed, use it as a review game to test student knowledge of their vocab list! 

Teacher tip: Be sure to look over the game prior to playing to check for accuracy! 

Vocabulary Activity #4: Crossword Puzzles

Need quick sub plans? Have students work independently or in pairs to review their vocabulary terms using a crossword puzzle. 

Crossword puzzles help reinforce student learning and their higher level thinking skills as they recall the definitions. This vocabulary activity is perfect to use as a quick assessment of student knowledge. 

Vocabulary Activity #5: Hot Seat

This vocabulary activity will help to increase student engagement as your class works together in the Hot Seat game. 

  1. Split the class into teams. 
  2. One student will sit with their back facing the Smartboard. A vocabulary term will appear on the board. Their team members will work together to give the student in the Hot Seat clues as to what the word could be within 2 minutes. 

Teacher tip: Have students take turns being in the Hot Seat. You can choose one team member at a time to give clues to ensure all students are working together. You might allow the other team members to use their vocabulary lists to help them feel more confident. 

Vocabulary Activity #6: Roll the die

Pique student engagement with this fun game. Students should work in small groups of 4 or less. Using the vocabulary list, they will roll the die to see which activity they will need to complete.

Using a graphic organizer or a dry-erase board will help students better retain information as they use both sides of their brain. 

Activities could include: 

  • Define the word
  • Give a synonym
  • Give an antonym
  • Use the word in a sentence
  • Create an illustration
  • Make a connection to the term 

These 6 engaging activities are  effective tools for vocabulary review. As teachers, we have the opportunity to transform the learning experience for our students by infusing it with fun and excitement. By incorporating these activities into your teaching lessons, you’ll help your students master vocabulary terms and a genuine love for learning. So, go ahead and infuse your lessons with a dash of fun, and watch your students’ enthusiasm for language and words grow. Together, we can make the journey of vocabulary acquisition an unforgettable adventure. Happy teaching!

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