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Improving Students’ Vocabulary

I often hear and read about teachers ‘banning’ particularly words, which is rather dramatic (although, I am guilty of getting very frustrated with the word ‘shows’). Something that I will be doing to support my students in using more complex and precise vocabulary is encouraging them to make connections from the words they do know, to those more specific and engaging words. The connection from one to the other is important, as it will support and develop their memory recall. With frequent reminders and questioning in class, any student can learn challenging words. My Year 7 were very excited to have learned (not just memorised) malevolent, clandestine, ambiguous and several other wordy words…

Here is a list my students use as reference. I would highly recommend ordering some A4 stickers for printing – they can then go straight into the front of the books with no cutting/gluing fuss: [here] 

The link to the word document is below.

My word choice Instead, I could use… Which means…
Positive words
Nice Admirable Worthy of admiration; inspiring approval, reverence, or affection.
Favourable Advantageous, encouraging, or promising.
Wonderful Excellent; great; marvellous.
Happy Exultant Highly elated; jubilant; triumphant.
Captivated To attract and hold the attention or interest of, as by beauty or excellence; enchant.
Thrilled To affect with a sudden wave of emotion or excitement, as to produce a tremor or tingling sensation through the body.
Pleased Appreciated To be grateful or thankful for.
Obliged To politely agree to a request; be beholden to a promise.
Contented To feel happy and satisfied.
Lovely Beauteous Beautiful.
Bewitching Enchanting; charming; fascinating.
Enchanting Charming; captivating.
Sunny Luminous Radiating or reflecting light; shining; bright.
Radiant Bright with joy, hope, etc.
Beaming Smiling brightly; cheerful.
Kind Affectionate Showing, indicating, or characterized by affection or love; fondly tender.
Compassionate A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Humane Characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people.
Helpful Supportive Providing sympathy or encouragement.
Invaluable Beyond calculable or appraisable value; of inestimable worth.
Courteous Having or showing good manners; polite.
Negative Words
Sad Sombre Gloomily dark; shadowy; dimly lighted.
Pessimistic The tendency to expect only bad outcomes; gloomy; joyless; unhopeful.
Mournful Feeling or expressing sorrow or grief; sorrowful; sad.
Upset Grieved To feel grief or great sorrow.
Disconcerted Disturbed, as in one’s composure or self-possession; perturbed; ruffled.
Distressed Affected with or suffering from distress.
Horrible Abhorrent Causing repugnance; detestable; loathsome.
Eerie Uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird.
Loathsome Causing feelings of loathing; disgusting; revolting; repulsive.
Unpleasant Obnoxious Highly objectionable or offensive; odious.
Poisonous Harmful; destructive.
Repulsive Causing repugnance or aversion.
Nasty Vile Wretchedly bad.
Hellish Of, like, or suitable to hell; infernal; vile; horrible.
Repugnant Distasteful, objectionable, or offensive.
Unhappy Dejected Depressed in spirits; disheartened; low-spirited.
Despondent Feeling or showing profound hopelessness, dejection, discouragement, or gloom.
miserable Wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable.
Mad Delirious Wild with excitement, enthusiasm, etc.
Frenzied Violently agitated; frantic; wild.
Demented Crazy; insane; mad.

[Dropbox link to the word document]

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