Second Grade Cafe

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vocabulary Games

Do you use games to help students learn content vocabulary? If so, here's one you might want to try. It's called musical vocabulary. It's similar to musical chairs. Several students sit in a circle facing the outside. The same number of students stand and walk around the circle while the music plays. I like to use the latest Kidz Bop songs or Disney TV shows' theme songs. I will randomly stop the music. When the music stops, the students who are standing select a definition to read from their paper. The student sitting must give the word that matches. They do not have a paper. If they match the word correctly, the students switch places. If they give an incorrect response, they stay in their same places. I will start the music again after they have had enough time to switch places (if needed), and we will continue the game several more rounds. The students who are standing at the end of the game are considered the winners. This is something that all of my students enjoy, and we have seen improvements on our vocabulary assessments now that we have been using this game. There's a lot of research to show the importance of vocabulary development, and there's also research that supports the effectiveness of the retrieval-practice that this game requires.
    Read "Make it Stick, The Science of Successful Learning" by Peter C. Brown, et al. This book will help you to see importance of continuing to teach in the manner that so many of us already do for the benefit of our students!

Click the link to read reviews of this amazing book. 


  1. I'm going to play that game with my students this week! Thanks. Last week we played a toss the beach ball game to review vocabulary words. However, I didn't like that only one person got to answer each time.

  2. I'm so glad that you like it! Let me know how it goes! Good luck!