More in Category: Vocabulary Activities

Fun and Engaging Vocabulary Lessons

Fun and Engaging Vocabulary Activities

Vocabulary lessons have a bad reputation for being boring. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Well, maybe once in a while it does – sometimes kids do need to learn definitions of new words, and that is the boring part. But there is so much more to vocabulary that is actually fun and […]

Parts of Speech Charts

Here are two useful classroom charts about the parts of speech. One includes basic information about each part of speech, and the other one has sample sentences. Post them side by side on your classroom wall as a handy reference, or give copies to each student for their language arts notebook. Today, parts of speech […]

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots Round-up

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots Round-up, with Free Classroom Resources

At both Classroom in the Middle Blog and the store, you’ll find lots of teaching ideas, classroom activities, and resources about prefixes, suffixes, and Latin and Greek roots, but for now, I’ll focus on the blog posts. Here’s a round up of posts about these tricky little vocabulary elements. Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots – Classroom […]

Vocabulary Skills Round-up, with Free Task Cards

At Classroom in the Middle blog, vocabulary posts fall into several categories – story vocabulary to go along with novel studies, language arts content vocabulary, vocabulary skills such as using context clues and recognizing word connotations, word parts, and parts of speech. And word lists for special occasions! Here are several that you might like […]

Adverbs for Big Kids

Adverbs for Big Kids

Adverbs are surely the most neglected parts of speech! We cover nouns and verbs in such detail and at multiple levels throughout the school years. Adjectives play a big role in writing and revising lessons. Even conjunctions and pronouns have their place in our language arts curriculum! Do we just run out of steam when […]

Vocabulary Skills Task Card – A FREE Sampler to Try with Your Classes

Here is a FREE sampler – a little set of eight large task cards with activities addressing a variety of vocabulary skills. You can print out the cards or have your kids work directly on the digital version which is included with this freebie!       Each card introduces an essential language arts objective. […]

Adjectives for Big Kids

Adjectives for Big Kids

  Instruction about adjectives for middle schoolers or upper elementary kids often appears as part of a lesson in descriptive writing – add some adjectives to this paragraph, replace these overused adjectives with more interesting ones, etc. And practice writing descriptively can definitely lead to improvement in student’s creative writing skills.   But that isn’t […]

Subject-Verb Agreement for Big Kids

A singular subject takes a singular verb.  A plural subject takes a plural verb.  So simple, right? Then why is subject-verb agreement such a troublesome topic to teach to middle graders?   And, no, the answer doesn’t have to do with middle graders themselves and their study habits (That’s a whole other subject.)!  It has […]

Suffixes and Parts of Speech – Two Lessons in One

  Don’t  you love it when you can cover two seemingly unrelated objectives in one lesson?  It’s like a bonus!  Not to mention a really efficient use of your limited classroom time.   Well, here’s one great combination – suffixes and parts of speech.  And I’m not just talking about those basic suffixes, -s for plural nouns […]

Color Coding Pronouns

Color Coding Pronouns – A Free Resource in Digital and Print Versions

  Your kids might really enjoy this little freebie that I recently posted in my store, and I think  you will find it useful as well.  It’s a color coding activity that’s all about types of pronouns – types that are mentioned in the Common Core Standards for middle grades, you know:   Subject Pronouns […]

No-Copy Foldables 3 - An Easy Cube

No-Copy Foldables 3 – An Easy Cube

  So, I’ve written before about various organizers that kids can make from just a sheet of printer paper (no copying needed), and about organizers that they can put together from sticky notes. Today, I thought I would add to my posts about no-copy foldables with this one about making a simple cube.   These […]

Task Cards for Big Kids

  As a middle school teacher, I knew that it was important to incorporate movement into my lessons – to let out some of that boundless middle school energy.  But I could also see that movement could get distracting really fast, especially too much movement.   That’s why, whenever I create a new set of […]

Verb Tenses for Big Kids

Verb Tenses for Big Kids, with Auxiliary Verbs

  Continuing my dive into parts of speech for middle graders, I’ve been looking into verbs and what middle graders need to know about them.  Looking at the Common Core standards, I found two specific areas – a few verb tenses that they haven’t much covered yet and a related area – auxiliary verbs.   […]

Solving Analogies Poster

Solving Analogies Poster

    Do your kids get the point of  how to solve analogies, but still have trouble solving analogies themselves, especially on a consistent basis?  Analogies can be tricky, and as kids practice to improve their proficiency with solving them correctly, a visual cue can be a great tool.   Here’s a little poster that […]

Pronouns for Big Kids

  Kids in the middle grades basically already know about pronouns, or more precisely they think they already know about pronouns.  Of course, as teachers, we know that there are still more concepts and rules about this part of speech that our kids haven’t covered at all yet!  But just what are these pronoun concepts and […]

Teaching Figurative Language and Imagery with Task Cards

  Figurative language and imagery are fun to teach, but they can be difficult at the same time!  Fun because these types of language appeal to the senses, which allows the language to become concrete for the kids.  Fun, also, because they appeal to kids creativity.  Difficult because they need to be looked at closely […]

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots - Classroom Activities to Try Now

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots – Classroom Activities to Try Now

  If you’re planning out your vocabulary instruction for the year, chances are there are lots of spots in those plans for reviewing affixes and roots, and probably also for teaching some new ones.  So, I thought, a few new lesson ideas and free resources about prefixes, suffixes, and roots might be of use here. […]

Free Back to School Resources

Free Teaching Resources for Language Arts and Reading Back to School

  For many teachers, it’s about that time – time to start collecting materials, buying new supplies, searching for free resources, and sorting through old stuff to see what will will work for the upcoming year.  Back to school instruction may look different this year that it did last (in a way isn’t that how […]

Fun Activities with Latin and Greek Roots

Fun Activities with Latin and Greek Roots

As essential as Latin and Greek roots are to vocabulary growth, to a middle schooler or upper elementary student they can seem more than a little dry.  For an English teacher, it’s easy to get interested in a new root that can open up a whole new selection of words, but for a kid, probably […]

Affixes and Roots – Free Anchor Charts

  Since I’ve been working an resources for teaching affixes and roots, I thought I would make a quick, free anchor chart to go with them.  Well, somehow it turned into two!   You can see the first one above.  It’s a little chart for the classroom wall; post it on the side wall as […]

Learning and Practicing Affixes and Roots

Learning and Practicing Affixes and Roots – with 2 Free Activities

  As teachers all know, kids don’t learn everything on the first try.  With repetition and practice, they gradually gain a better understanding of the concepts and gradually pick up more and more of the facts.  This seems especially true with vocabulary instruction.  There are so many little details to learn – prefixes, suffixes, and […]

Fold, Cut, Color Code, and Play - Prefixes and Suffixes

Fold, Cut, Color Code, and Play (and Practice Those Prefixes and Suffixes)

  Vocabulary (cue the scary music) – In middle school and the upper elementary grades, it’s one of those topics that never goes away.  Year after year, teachers teach story vocabulary, content vocabulary, affixes, roots, word connotations, and more.   Why?  Because it’s so needed!  Vocabulary infuses everything we teach in language arts (not to […]

Subject-Verb Agreement Difficulties?

  The basic rule of subject-verb agreement is hard enough to explain to kids!  A singular subject takes a singular verb – but a singular verb looks like a plural noun because it ends with an -s, and a plural noun takes a plural verb – but a plural verb looks like a singular noun […]

Journey Vocabulary

Working with Story Vocabulary from the Novel Journey, Plus a Freebie

Journey, the middle grades novel by Patricia LacLachlan, lends itself really well to related vocabulary activities, and it’s a great choice for upper elementary kids as well as those middle school students who do best with shorter easy-to-read novels for whatever reason.  Actually, people of all ages enjoy reading this easy little story.  Mainly it’s […]

Task Cards - a Go-To Resource

Task Cards – A Go-To Resource for Middle Grades Teachers

For a class of middle grade kids who love to work in groups and love to move around the room, task cards can be your go-to resource.  They are so handy to have around and pull out throughout the year as needed. And task cards work great for any language arts skills – reading, writing, […]

Teaching Affixes and Roots, Step by Step fb

Teaching Affixes and Roots – Step by Step

  Teaching affixes and roots can be a problem.  First of all, where does it fit in among all the literature that you want to read, the reading skills that your kids need to work on, the types of writing you need to cover, and the composition skills you want your kids to pick up […]

Expanding Vocabulary Instruction

  Good vocabulary skills can make such a difference!  Understanding the connotations and the multiple meanings of words and recognizing the imagery in a reading passage allows us to get so much more out of it.  Figurative language and analogies add to our enjoyment of reading.  And for kids, those advanced word attack skills can […]

What to Do with Idioms, Proverbs, and Adages

  Recognizing common idioms, proverbs, and adages is a useful skill – no doubt about that!  For one thing, Common Core standards say that kids in the upper elementary grades need to be able to do it, but it’s also a practical vocabulary skill. That’s easy to see when working with students who are learning […]

Teaching Analogies - Solving, 7 Types, and Freebie fb

Teaching Analogies – How to Solve, Seven Types, Plus a Free Resource

Understanding how to solve analogies is an important language arts skill, but since analogies are basically little puzzles, they can also be a fun activity.  Kids who have the skills to solve a variety of types of analogy have an advantage when it comes to reading and understanding figurative language as well as vocabulary. As […]

Multiple Meaning Word Team Challenge

Multiple Meaning Word Team Challenge

Once kids get the idea that many words have two or more completely different meanings, they can begin to use this knowledge to increase their vocabulary.  Playing a game with multiple meaning words is a great way to do this.  A team challenge game not only provides students with exposure to lots of different multiple […]

Multiple Meaning Words

Multiple Meaning Words for the Middle Grades

At first, kids learn that words have a meaning, one meaning, so it’ no wonder that multiple meaning words can be confusing for students when they first encounter them.  But, once they get the idea, understanding multiple meaning words can be a big boost!  Students who recognize multiple meanings of words have an easier time […]

Connotations - Sometimes You Need to Know Exactly What Was Said!

Connotations – Sometimes It’s Important to Know Exactly What Was Said!

  Connotations – it’s a tricky subject!  But luckily middle schoolers and upper elementary kids are good at understanding connotations in their own gossipy way!  Now they just need to apply that vocabulary skill to academic activities rather than just decoding the word nuances in a typical “he said . . . she said . […]

Riding the Tiger – Group Vocabulary Presentations with a Theme

  Picture books are great vehicles for clarifying one particular story element for the class.  For example, the book Riding the Tiger, by Eve Bunting, is a great one for introducing theme.  One way to do that, of course, would be to discuss the theme of the story after reading the book to the class.  But […]

Organizing vocabulary instruction for the year

Organizing Vocabulary instruction for the Year

  Vocabulary- how often does it seem like one more thing that you should fit more of into your language arts curriculum?  But where’s the time?  The main problem with vocabulary is that there’s so much of it! There is the vocabulary that you want to pull from novels and stories that you read with […]

Solving Seven Types of Analogies

  To solve analogies, kids need to know two things – the basic pattern that all analogies follow, and the different ways in which the pairs of words in the analogy can go together.  Teaching these different types of analogies gives kids more tools to use when solving these little word puzzles on their own. […]

Spring Word List

When you are planning spring activities, a word list can be a useful tool.  In case you could use a handy list, here’s one for spring.  Having middle-grade kids in mind, I’ve included some words that they’ll recognize from previous years as well as forms of those words that may be new to them and […]

Teaching Connotations and Denotations

  At some point in teaching writing, middle grade teachers instruct their students to do a little revising and replace overused words with more interesting ones.  So the kids pull out a thesaurus and pick something among the many choices available.  The problem, of course, is that some kids just don’t have the experience to […]

Alliteration with Animalia for All Ages

  Animalia, by Graeme Base, is an alphabet book that is entertaining people of all ages. And it would be a great mentor text for lessons in either alliteration or sentence building – or better yet a fun lesson that combines both!   As with many language arts skills, kids have come across both alliteration and […]

Fun Activities with an Autumn Word List

  Last fall, I posted an autumn word list, an alphabetical list of about 70 words that could be useful in a variety of autumn themed activities.  This time, I thought I would update a little with some ideas for using those words in a variety of autumn activities.  I’ll add the list again in […]

Latin and Greek Roots Activities

Latin and Greek Roots Activities

  This updated resource now includes 21 activities  plus a large slide presentation for teaching Latin and Greek roots The activities include a game and a set of practice cards. The PowerPoint introduces LOTS of roots, divided into three groups for easier use.     The Roots Are: Set 1:  –meter-, -bio-, -man-,  -ped-, -photo-, -hydro-, […]

Word Relays with Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots

  Word relays are a great activity to do with the whole class to practice identifying prefixes, suffixes, and roots and writing words with these elements.  My favorite method is a whiteboard relay.  It’s a simple, versatile activity that requires almost no prep, and it gets the kids moving!   For the relay, divide your […]

Literary Terms List

  Learning terms and definitions by themselves doesn’t provide much value to kids, but they need to know, and be able to use, certain terms in order to discuss and understand what they read about literature – story elements, types of figurative language, vocabulary terms, etc.  What other categories of terms do you teach to […]

Shades of Meaning

  Why do we have so many words that mean the same thing?  Because they don’t!  Most “synonyms” actually have slightly different meanings, and that’s where we get into interesting vocabulary topics like connotations versus denotations.  One way to demonstrate this with students is to have them replace a word in a passage with various […]

Memorial Day Word List

    Could you use a nice, long vocabulary list for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other patriotic holidays?  This list of over 75 terms was designed with middle grade kids in mind.  Here it is (You can download a copy below.):   Patriotic/Military Word List   appreciation veterans valor valiant memorial commemorate preservation patriot […]

Earth Day Vocabulary List with Lesson Activity Ideas

  Here is my updated and expanded list of vocabulary words that might be useful for Earth Day puzzles, games, or other activities – along with a few suggestions for activities using the word list.  You can download the list below.   Vocabulary List biodegradable renewable carbon carbon footprint fossil fuel organic renewable non-renewable conserve conservation […]

Saint Patrick’s Day Word List

Do you need a word list for your Saint Patrick’s Day activities, games, or puzzles?  Here is a list of around 40 words and terms related to Saint Patrick’s Day and all things Irish. Use them for holiday worksheets, vocabulary activities, writing prompts, hangman games, guessing games, word relays, centers, stations, student-made games, or whatever […]

Prefixes, Suffixes, and Roots – FREE Anchor Chart

Prefixes, suffixes and roots – it’s such a big subject to cover!  Once the kids have the concept, that’s only the beginning – there are so many affixes or roots in each group to introduce the kids to that it can really be an ongoing project rather than a one-time unit.  And just when you […]

Helping Kids Make Sense of Analogies

    Analogies can be confusing for kids.  With four words to deal with, they may be left wondering exactly what they are looking for.  Of course the trick is to look at the relationship between each pair of words, not just the four individual words, but that concept can be difficult at the beginning. […]

Suffix Activities

    New from Classroom in the Middle – ten activities all about suffixes!  The ten activities include: 1.Using Suffixes in Words and Sentences 2.Using Suffixes to Sort Parts of Speech 3.Choose Your Suffix – Cut and Paste 4.Identifying Suffixes 5.Make New Words with Suffixes 6.Identify the Prefix, Suffix, and Base 7.Suffix Change Up 8.Suffix […]

Winter Weather Words

  Need some fresh winter words for vocabulary or puzzle activities?  Here is a list of about 50 winter weather words that might work well for middle grade kids.  The words relate to cold weather, snow, activities on snow and ice, and cold-weather clothing.  You can download the list below.   Winter Weather Words thundersnow […]

Autumn Word Bank

    Need a list of vocabulary words to keep handy for autumn and autumn holidays?  Use it for word games, vocabulary practice, writing exercises, whatever you could use a seasonal word list for.  (You can download the list below.)   amber aromas autumn bale bonfire bounty brisk carving chestnuts chilly chili cider cinnamon colony […]

Task Cards Designed for the Middle Grades, Including a FREEBIE

    These task cards are all designed specifically for the middle grades – four through seven.  There is more content per card than on the typical elementary school task cards, so kids still get to move around when you’re doing an activity, but they also will spend a few more minutes on each card […]

Context Clues Chart

Here is a handy anchor chart to show students how to search for context clues in a piece of text.  The chart explains how to sue context clues and gives examples of three types of context clues that students can look for.  You can download a copy here: How to Use Context Clues     Related […]

Parts of Speech Hunt with Gorky Rises

Parts of Speech Hunt with Gorky Rises

  Parts of speech is one of those topics that seem to need a little something extra to get kids interested – especially kids in the middle grades!  So I like to add two favorite elements – a picture book and a contest.   With kids who have already been introduced to the parts of […]

Christmas Characters Word List

  For a little variety in your Christmas word finds, games, and other puzzles, try this word list – it’s all characters, and a few authors, from well-known holiday stories.  You can download the list here:  Christmas Characters Word List.  And if you prefer a more general list of Christmas words, there’s one of those […]

Sights and Sounds of Christmas Word List

    Here is a list of Christmas words that might come in handy as you make your own holiday games and activities.  You can download the list below.   Sights and Sounds of Christmas Word List Festive Cranberries Wreath Jingle Cheer Sleigh Bough Reindeer Fruitcake Turkey Icicles Memories Manger Straw Poinsettia Sugarplums Fireplace Candles […]