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Fun Vocabulary Review Games

By Keren Perles

These vocabulary review games are a fun way to help your students remember the definitions of their vocabulary words, and they’re perfect for reviewing before a quiz or a test. Try them and see which your students enjoy most!

Charades

Write a list of the vocabulary words on the board. Have one student (or a pair of students) come to the front of the classroom, and whisper one of the vocabulary words in her ear. Encourage her to act out the vocabulary word to the best of her ability. (If you are having a pair of students acting out the word, you might want to give them a minute or two to discuss their “skit” out of the rest of the class’s earshot.) The student who correctly guesses the vocabulary first gets to act out the next word.

Pictionary

Call one student to the board. Whisper a vocabulary word into his ear, and have him draw a picture of that word. (If too many students start to draw pictures of syllables from the word rather than of the word’s meaning, you may want to consider instituting a rule against it.) The student who correctly guesses the vocabulary word first gets to draw the next word.

Bingo

Write the list of vocabulary words on the board, and have students fill out their own bingo boards, using one word for each square. Randomly choose a word and read its definition – without saying the word itself. Students should mark off the word on their boards that they think matches that definition. The student who first makes a line on her bingo board (or who first fills up her board – or both), wins the game. Make sure to keep track of which words you have called out, in case of a dispute.

Matching

Give out stacks of blank note cards to pairs, or small groups, of students. Have them split up the vocabulary words and together fill each note card with a vocabulary word or a definition. Then have them turn the cards upside down and lay them out so that none of them overlap. Then show them how to play a matching game by taking turns flipping two cards at a time. A “match” is a vocabulary word and the correct definition.

Not only are these vocabulary review games fun to play in class, they might even inspire your students to find creative ways to review their vocabulary words at home as well.