Tricks for teaching vocabulary

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Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect, IL

There are many tricks, or templates, to facilitate learning vocabulary through spiraling and cognates and effective lesson planning to include many aspects of the 5 C’s. Teach students to examine writing prompts both individually and through peer evaluation ensuring that the prompt is well developed, includes a variety of verb tenses, show evidence to support the response of the prompt, and to recognize a clear hook with the use of appropriate transitions. Effective organization from Italian 1 to Italian AP affords the opportunity for students to prepare for the AP Thematic structure. Summer homework keeps the learning going from year to year.

One might say that I am the “template Regina”! I LOVE templates because students become accustomed to using them and they know what to look for and how to use them. In this section, I have provided a variety of templates and lists for you to use

1. Infinitive Template: I begin this in Italian 1. As we learn a verb they write it in the appropriate column. They also add it to the “affini” row, verbs that look like English OR another verb I know (cambiare, scambiare) or the “nuovi” row, or as I call it “need to knows”.

2. Lesson Plan Template: I created this because I wanted to better track and include variety into my lessons. This also became easy for me to plan a week at a glance and to keep my plans on file from year to year.

3. Tre Colonne: I created this so that students could see how easy it is to understand vocabulary and not feel that they had to run to a dictionary or google translate. This template can also be used to show word families or the spiral effect of vocabolario (la conquista, conquistare, conquistato).

4. Peer Editing: I created this when my students were having a difficult time with verb variety, using transitions, creating a hook, and showing supporting main ideas or opinions. I use this as a peer activity and sometimes I use it for an article that I provide for the students.


ACTFL Convention 2013

Affiliate: AATI, AATI Midwest Co-Presidents


Lyn Scolaro, Prospect High School, Mt. Prospect, IL 

M. Stella Weber, Maine South High School, Park Ridge, IL