VocaBitlary: Using littleBits to Build Vocabulary


VocaBitlary

Building a strong vocabulary is an essential component of academic success, but teachers often struggle to find successful ways to engage students in the process of learning new words. Students will creatively demonstrate their understanding of new vocabulary words and their definitions.

Duration: Two 45-minute periods

GRADE LEVEL
College/University (age 18+)
High School (ages 14-17)
Elementary (ages 8-10)
Middle School (ages 11-13)

DIFFICULTY
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

SUBJECT
English Language Arts
Foreign Language
General Education
Math
Physical Science
Social Studies

MODULES & ACCESSORIES USED (3)
dc motor (1)
button (1)
power (1)

OTHER MATERIALS USED (4)
String 1
Tape 1
index card 1
Marker 1

TOOLS USED
Scissors

LESSON GUIDE

STEP 1 : Introduction

Dialogue: What are some strategies you use to learn new vocabulary words? Write responses on board, taking time to respond to each. Answers will most likely include flash cards, word lists, drawing, etc. If not, introduce the idea of creatively demonstrating word meaning through drawings, song writing, and acting. Moderate a discussion on why this may be an effective strategy for learning new words.

STEP 2 : Overview

Present the challenge: In pairs, choose one word from the vocabulary list and, using littleBits and other materials, build something that demonstrates understanding of the word and definition. Be prepared the share your thinking and project with others as you utilize the Glow and Grow feedback process.

STEP 3 : Design and Build

VocaBitlary1

VocaBitlary2

In pairs, students discuss their word and definition, brainstorm some possible designs for their object, and begin building their first prototype.

STEP 4 : Glow and Grow Feedback and Iteration

VocaBitlary3

Student pairs meet with another pair of students and share their thinking and project. Using the Glow and Grow feedback process, students receive encouragement and critical feedback on their design. Using this new insight, students return to their design to implement improvements.

STEP 5 : Gallery Walk and Presentation

When projects are finished, students place their work on their desks and the class embarks on a Gallery Walk. Finally, pairs present their project to the class, taking time to explain how their object is associated with their word and definition.