Vocabulary for Middle School Students: Homework Help and Games

In many middle school classrooms, teachers actively try to increase their students' vocabulary because a strong vocabulary can lead to better reading comprehension and fluency. One of the most common ways of teaching vocabulary is to select terms from novels and textbooks and incorporate them into practice games and worksheets. Get started with the following options.

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How Can I Help My Child with Vocabulary Homework?

To provide your child extra practice with classroom vocabulary lists and homework, start by finding out which words he or she is struggling with most and sorting them by topic or subject area. Possible lists may include social studies, literary arts, science and math vocabulary words. You can then create flashcards with words on one side and definition on the other or have your child simply write the words and definitions several times.

While repetition is effective, it is not the most fun way for middle school students to study vocabulary. Instead, try creating games and unique activities for your child to use for at-home practice. The three below should get you started.

Middle School Vocabulary Games

Homophone Fill in the Blank

Students of all ages can be thrown off by homophones and get confused by the correct spellings and definitions. To aid in homophone practice, you can create worksheets or allow your child to play similar games online that require him or her to determine which word fits into the sentence provided.

For a worksheet, simply type out sentences that include homophones and remove those words before giving the worksheet to your child. Each sentence should have a word bank of the two spellings, and your son or daughter must select which makes the most sense in the sentence. For example, you could say, 'Tim talked during class, so he was sent to the _.' The word bank would include 'principal' and 'principle.'

Vocabulary Concentration

Similar to the game memory, also called concentration, this activity gives kids the opportunity to make a connection with vocabulary words and definitions without simply writing them on paper. Using a word list, write a word on one card and its definition on another.

Proceed by turning cards face down in a rectangular layout. Each player will have the chance to flip two cards to try and match the vocabulary word with its definition. If a match is not made, the cards will be turned over, and the next player will take a turn. If a match is made, the player keeps that pair and gets another turn. Once all cards have been removed from the board, the player with the most matches wins.

Word Illustrations

Although not every student is artistic, incorporating creativity into vocabulary practice can break up the monotony of repetition and flashcards. Start by having your child select one of the word lists that you created, and then provide a variety of art supplies. These can include colored pencils, crayons, markers or paint, along with index cards or heavy drawing paper. Your son or daughter will proceed by writing the vocabulary word and illustrating the definition to the best of his or her ability. This activity provides kids the opportunity to create their own version of a flashcard while also having fun.

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