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Vocabulary Zoo Game

Subject: Language Arts
Grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

Brief Description

A simple activity to focus students' attention and build vocabulary.


This memorable game will help students remember new vocabulary words and their meanings.


game, words, dictionary, vocabulary

Materials Needed

A list of new vocabulary words extracted from a story to be read aloud

Lesson Plan

  • Pre-read a book that you will later read aloud to students. The book should include vocabulary that will be new to students. Make a list of the words whose definition students will probably not know.
  • Provide each student with the list of words. Read the list of words to the students. Then tell them that you are going to read a story aloud. Direct each student to make the sound of her or his favorite animal whenever you read one of the words on the list. For fun, you might let students warm up by practicing their animal sounds in advance of reading. Each time the students make their favorite animal noises, stop and discuss what the word means and how it is used in the context of the story and in everyday conversation.
  • Read the story again to see whether students remember the words' meanings. You might be surprised; the memory of the animal noise seems to trigger the child's mind to remember the meanings of some of the words.

NOTES: Make sure the words are not too advanced; let the children know that you are doing this in advance so that they are not surprised.


At the end of the lesson when the children are done reading, talk about the story and review the words. Use the words in sentences to make sure children know their meanings.

Submitted By

Brandyn Petraschuk, Ignace Public School, Ignace, Ontario

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