It is vitally important to give the pupils the numerous opportunities to use and practice new vocabulary they have learnt if we wish them to assimilate this into their ‘usable’ vocabulary. In order for a new word to be understood and in our long term memory we need to use it 8 times in context.
There are a number of ways we can practice new vocabulary:
- Using sentence stems to target vocabulary – ‘I thought it was inevitable that…’
- Talking Points – Use challenging vocabulary in a list of talking points e.g. Hamlet’s death was inevitable.
- Summary bullseye – On a bullseye list a range of vocabulary for the children to use in talking about a specified topic. They then score points for each word used – the easiest words are worth one point, mid-range words are worth three points and challenging words are worth five points. It is then a competition between you and your partner to see who can gain the highest score. If all the vocabulary is placed on a bullseye they can have the sheet in front of them as a scaffold.