The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE AND GRADUATE TEACHERS

Vocabulary Building Quiz: Challenging our students to think outside the box

When teaching vocabulary, it is far too easy to fall into the habit of presenting a definition and an example.

Rinse and repeat.

We don’t have to do this to ourselves, or our students.

Recently, I found myself thinking about ways to revise filmic conventions and language feature. What can we do when our students already have some knowledge and do not need a hard reboot on their understanding?

They don’t need another lesson where you introduce fundamental terminology. They need something that allows for quick and sharp recap, while extending their knowledge. They need something that can test what they already know.

Use the following strategy:

  1. Inform students that you will present a sentence. Students will need to decide if the sentence fall under one of two categories. For example, is it a metaphor or simile? Use an image or a visual prompt to support students.
  2. Present a visual prompt along with a written prompt such as in the image below. I have included a sentence that includes an adverb. A simple ‘adverb or adjective?’ draws attention to how students will answer the question.

Once students have answered the question, follow up with: “how do you know?” Other questions might offer more extension and depth. Encourage students to compare and understand the attributes of each.

For example, below you could quiz students on how the example might be both a simile and exaggeration.

When it comes to film conventions, feel free to quiz students on how the image might look different from another angle.

Or the decision making behind using an extreme long shot instead of a long shot.

Questions like these allow students to engage with the vocabulary with more depth. Rather than simply recalling the information, they now need to consider the samples from different perspectives.

Expert tip: turn the image slide into a quick fire quiz. Offer bonus points or rewards for answering extension questions.

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