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word wall in first grade classroom filled with vocabulary words

Vocabulary: Assignments

Try these ideas for enhancing vocabulary knowledge in your classroom, and watch the classroom video on teaching academic vocabulary.

Vocabulary self-check

Conduct a self-check of the words you have taught your students recently to see if they fall in the Tier 1, 2, or 3 categories

Vocabulary boost

Before reading a book aloud to your class, introduce at least one new vocabulary word from the story. Discuss what the word means and ask your students to give you a “thumbs up” when they hear the vocabulary word in the story.

After you’ve read the story, discuss the meaning of the vocabulary word again. This time, choose a student to define the word. Ask students to use the word in a sentence and identify a synonym or antonym. Create a chart listing all vocabulary words introduced throughout the year.

Affix chart

Over a course of two days introduce prefixes and suffixes to your students. On day one, discuss prefixes. Create a chart listing common prefixes and their definitions. On the second day, introduce suffixes. Following the discussion, chart suffixes and list their definitions. Compare the difference between prefixes and suffixes. Below is a sample chart to help guide your discussions.

bi-twobicycle-ablecan be, worthy oflovable
dis-not/apart fromdishonest-ishcharacter of, somewhatselfish
mis-wrongmisspell-istperson whoviolinist
pre-beforepreheat-fulfull ofbeautiful
re-back, againrefund-nessstate of, quality ofkindness
sub-undersubmarine-or/-erperson who, thing whichpresenter
un-notunsafe-somelike, tending to beawesome


Academic vocabulary

Learn how to teach academic vocabulary that empowers students across content areas. (From the Balanced Literacy Diet: Putting Research into Practice in the Classroom)

Certificate of completion

Reading Rockets does not offer CEUs for this self-study course. After successfully answering the post-test questions, you’ll be able to download a certificate of completion.