Building Vocabulary with Technology in the Classroom

Building Vocabulary with Technology in the Classroom

There is so much more to learning new vocabulary words than just memorizing definitions. Using vocabulary in context is the single most effective way to identify if one truly understands the meaning of the word. Here is a list of some ways you can get your students to use technology in creative and meaningful ways that will help develop and enhance their lexicon.

Effective ideas for building vocabulary with technology in the classroom whether you are 1:1 or have access to Chromebooks, laptopstops, computers or iPads. Students will use different tech tools in creative and meaningful ways that will help develop and enhance their lexicon.

Adobe Spark Video

Use the free app, Adobe Spark Video, or web tool Adobe Spark (login required), to create mini movies of vocabulary words used in context and their definitions. Students can add as many words/slides as they would like to make a video. Here is an example:

Texting Story App

Use the Texting Story iPad app (read how to use it HERE) to create a texting conversation using vocabulary words and emojis. In the example below I tried to work in the words parched, purchase, suffice, and adequate. It wasn't easy😋

Gone Google Story Builder

UPDATE! Unfortunately this web tool is no longer working 😓Gone Google Story Builder is similar to Texting Story; however, students use this website to create an interaction on a Google Doc. Read all about this awesome web tool HERE. Here is an example using the words courteous, glimpse, radiates, and hesitant.

Create a Music Video

Create a music video using the Ditty app (iTunes and Android). Students can use still images or take video footage of their vocabulary word in action.They type a single sentence, choose a song, upload a picture, video, gif, record a video or select a plain background and the app turns everything into a musical creation. Here is one for the words remedy and anxious:

Make Comic Strips

Students would have fun weaving in their vocabulary terms by making a comic strip. The Book Creator iPad app (which is coming to the web soon!) makes this very easy to do with the comic layouts. Learn how to use it HERE. Those of you who have Chromebooks and can only use free web tools that do not require a login, check out Make Believe Comics (also an iPad app). I suggest giving students a little bit of time upfront to explore all of the different backgrounds and characters before diving into the comic creation. Here is one I whipped up for the word famished.

Use the free web tool or app, Make Believe Comics, to create comics using vocabulary words.

Vocabulary Posters

A very easy to use and FREE web tool is Addtext.com. It also comes as a FREE app for both Apple and Android. Have students find a copyright free image using Photos for Class or Pixabay  that would match a sentence they write using their vocabulary term. This will create a nice digital poster that they could upload to a Padlet wall, share in your Google Classroom or LMS, print to hang in your room, anything you want!

Use Google Drive or PicCollage to Make Vocabulary Come ALIVE

Have students decorate their vocabulary words in Google Drawing and upload to a Google Slides presentation to add sentences. They could collect words collaboratively or do it individually.


iPad users could use the free app PicCollage  to make their vocabulary words come alive using the new drawing tool in the main menu. 

How to use the PicCollage app to make vocabulary words come alive

Students could take their work a step further and combine multiple vocabulary posters into one collage like this:
How to use the PicCollage app to make vocabulary words come alive

To read more about this activity, click HERE.

If you want to get your students involved in student-centered vocabulary practice, check out my Digital Vocabulary Choice Board for Google Slides™. You can read more about digital choice boards HERE

Be sure to visit these posts for even more ideas!

Vocabulary Instruction Made Easy by Tech with Jen

Using Haiku Deck to Keep Track of Vocabulary by Erintegration

21 Digital Tools for Building Vocabulary by Kimberly Tyson

Cool Tools for Teaching Vocabulary by Cool Tools

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