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Vocabulary race
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honoriartist

A race against teams to see who remembers the most vocabulary terms: A fun review technique.

Objective:
To demonstrate the acquisition of new vocabulary

Instructions
Divide the class into teams, I divided it into 2 teams.
Mark the whiteboard so that each team has a section
Give out markers

Round !:  What's in your collective brain?
Instruct students to work as a team to write down as many vocabulary terms they can think of that apply to the topic.
In this case "observational drawing" is the topic.  I encourage students to think of terms from other classes that also apply to observational drawing.
They can talk, yell, write.  If too many people hang back I say at some point everyone who has a marker, give the marker to a person without a marker.  Now that new student is the writer.
When the writing slows way down call STOP.
Student are to erase any duplicates resulting from different students frantically writing.
Students then count up the terms they came up with. Team with the most relevant terms wins.

Round 2: What's on the list?  in the book? on the Internet?
Student teams can next refer to our vocabulary list from the syllabus, look in the ebook, and the Internet to build more terms related to the topic.
Delete duplicate terms.
Count again to see which team wins.

Round 3: Definition fest
Students are invited to discuss any of the terms on the board for which they are not sure of the meaning or application to the topic.

Surprise:
This was the review for the final.
You can erase the board and stop.

I give the following additional instructions that surprise the students.
You can take photos of the board and refer to the photos on your phone during the test.
Since the test has an essay and short answer this technique ensures that class vocabulary is likely to be used in meaningful ways.

Lesson: I tell students:
Instead of this method being "cheating" it is actually how you will deal with challenges in the knowledge economy.
You will be able to look up words.  You will be able to brainstorm with teams.
In the real world you will not be given multiple choice tests, instead your learning will be in the context of a given project and with a team.  So this type of "test" is better training for a creative career than a traditional test would be.


Teacher Reflections:
Students have fun and they realize that they KNOW many more terms than they thought.  They are proud that they have over 100 new professional terms in which to express themselves.  They also have situated this new vocabulary in their future career.  Students have fun and gain confidence with the vocabulary race.


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