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
College/University (age 18+)
High School (ages 14-17)
Elementary (ages 8-10)
Middle School (ages 11-13)
English Language Arts
MODULES & ACCESSORIES USED (3)
dc motor (1)
OTHER MATERIALS USED (4)
index card 1
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
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
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.