Vocabulary Cartoons


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A short lesson on using vocabulary cartoons in the classroom.

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Vocabulary Cartoons

  1. 1. Vocabulary cartoons<br />A Reading Strategy to Improve Vocabulary Comprehension<br />By Sarah Zboralski<br />
  2. 2. Overview of strategy<br />Student’s will complete a Concept Map graphic organizer prior to creating the cartoon to first understand the vocabulary word. <br />Students will draw a picture of what the vocabulary word means.<br />Students will use the vocabulary word correctly in a sentence to further explain it’s meaning.<br />
  3. 3. Objectives for Participants<br />Participants will learn a new tool for their toolbox to teach vocabulary that can be modified and adapted to fit with any grade level and content area.<br />Participants will learn how to use a concept map graphic organizer to more clearly define what a vocabulary word is, what it is not, and examples of the word in context.<br />Participants will learn how to create a lesson using vocabulary cartoons to enhance and clarify understandings of vocabulary words.<br />Participants will have a greater understanding of student’s current level of understanding with the selected vocabulary terms.<br />
  4. 4. Vocabulary Cartoon Lesson<br />Students are asked to identify 4-5 words in their independent novels that they do not know the meaning of during independent reading time. (30 minutes)<br />Students are then asked to choose 2 of those words to use for their vocabulary cartoons. (5-10 minutes)<br />Students are given the Concept Definition Map graphic organizer to complete<br />Students use a dictionary and their own independent novels to determine what they thought was the correct meaning or use of the word. (5-10 minutes)<br />
  5. 5. 5. The students need to define what the word is, what it is not, some examples of the word being used, and a small sketch of what the word means (this can be a rough draft for the cartoon). (20-30 minutes)<br />6. Once the Concept Map is approved by the teacher, the student can then move forward with the creation of their vocabulary cartoon. (15-20 minutes)<br />7. Students can then share their cartoons with the class, or the teacher can put them up in the classroom<br />
  6. 6. Concept Definition Map Graphic Organizer<br />There is also a more sophisticated version of this organizer for students who know the literal meaning but may struggle with the figurative or deeper meaning.<br />
  7. 7. Impact on student learning<br />According to the text Strategic Reading in the Content Areas, vocabulary deficiencies tend to be a primary cause of academic failure (Billmeyer, 95). However, vocabulary is not always explicitly taught in the classroom. More attention and instruction needs to be given to vocabulary.<br />To teach vocabulary in the classroom, teachers need to have a language-rich environment, teach specific words during language arts and during specific content study, and teach strategies for learning new words. (Temple, Ogle, Crawford, & Freppon, 185).<br />Vocabulary instruction is an important part of reading instruction and providing unique and engaging activities to learn new vocabulary is more motivating and effective to student’s learning.<br />
  8. 8. References<br />Billmeyers, Rachel. ( 2006). Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner. Nebraska: Rachel Billmeyer, Rachel & Associates, Inc.<br />Billmeyers, Rachel. (2004). Strategic Reading in the Content Areas. Nebraska: Rachel Billmeyer, Rachel & Associates, Inc.<br />Temple, C., Ogle, D., Crawford, A., & Freppon, P. (2008). All Children Read: Teaching for literacy in today’s diverse classrooms. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.<br />