Journal Article

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Motivate students to engage in word study using vocabulary games
Vocabulary instruction across the content areas aids reading comprehension, making it time well spent in the classroom. Although students with learning disabilities (LD) need many practice opportunities to learn new words, engaging them in vocabulary instruction may prove challenging. Due to their past difficulties in acquiring reading skills, they may quickly become discouraged and give up when presented with new words. A factor in students' willingness to allocate their time and effort is their interest and motivation. Therefore, targeting motivation, as well as reading skills, is important when designing vocabulary instruction for students with LD. Vocabulary games can be designed to supplement teacher-directed instruction and support student comprehension and mastery of important content. They are often adaptations of commercially developed games (e.g., So You Want to Be a Millionaire) or well-established childhood games (e.g., 20 Questions, Bingo). Games need easy-to-follow rules and procedures that can be clearly communicated and remembered by all players. The most important aspect of a vocabulary game is that it be fun. Three vocabulary games that the authors have used to assist students' vocabulary acquisition that students have enjoyed in their elementary classrooms are: (1) Mystery Word; (2) Word-O; and (3) Word Sorts. In this article, the authors describe these games and provide suggestions for preparation prior to implementing them with students. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
vocabulary, motivation, learning, disabilities, vocabulary games, reading
Intervention in School and Clinic
Publication Date
Sep 2011
Jenny Wells
Drue Narkon
Thousand Oaks, CA
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities
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