How to Use Technology to Make Vocabulary Words Memorable

How to Use Technology to Make Vocabulary Words Memorable

How to use technology to make vocabulary words come alive. Google Drawing for laptops and Chromebooks as well as the PicCollage app for iPads are the two digital tools used to make vocabulary words come alive. Technology in the classroom
I will never forget learning the difference between the homophones witch and which. For WITCH, it was a simple visual representation of broom sticks creating the letter T in the middle of the word.

My 2nd grade teacher had a bulletin board of tricky words like this that contained images to help us remember meanings of words as well as assist with spelling. I can still see that bulletin board in my mind as if it were yesterday.

Therefore, let's have our students make their vocabulary words MEMORABLE and come alive using one of the following tech tools mentioned below. Sure, they could easily do this with paper and colored utensils. However, technology allows the user to publish and share their work with others quickly, efficiently and without a need to make multiple paper copies. Have students work as a team to build a digital dictionary throughout the year or for a novel they are reading. Or, have students work individually to build their own vocabulary dictionary that is personalized for their own learning level. You could even integrate this idea into science, social studies and math content!

First up is for all of you Google Drive Users...

Use Google Drive to Make Vocabulary Come ALIVE

Have students decorate their vocabulary words in Google Drawing. First, have them type their word using the text box. Next, they can use the drawing and shape tools to add details on and within the letters of the word. This requires some critical thinking! Students really need to have an understanding of their vocabulary term as well as its part of speech in order to do the decorating

Using Google Drawing to make vocabulary words memorable

Students could also use the built in image search to find png images to add to their letters like in this example:

Using Google Drawing to make vocabulary words memorable

You can export the drawings as a png file (File>Download As> PNG Image) so it has a transparent background. Students can then upload their decorative work into a slide on a Google Slides presentation. You can also copy and paste the word creation from the Google Drawing straight into a Google Slides presentation; however, they can't easily resize it. This can be achieved by going to Edit>Select All, Edit>copy and then head to your presentation to paste. Students can insert a text box and type a sentence using their vocabulary term in context. Here is an example of 4 vocabulary words that were added to a Google Slides presentation. Have students individually build a presentation OR work collaboratively to make a bank of vocabulary slides.


Students could do all of this within Google Slides; however, the method mentioned above that has students first design in Google Drawing will allow them to resize their word quickly and easily. They can also add their decorative word to different files. For instance, their word could be added to a collaborative presentation and again in a personal digital vocabulary dictionary:

Digital Dictionary for Vocabulary in Google Slides
Click the image to take you to this template in my TpT Store

Use PicCollage to Make Vocabulary Come ALIVE

iPad users could use the free app PicCollage  to make their vocabulary words come alive.

Recently PicCollage pushed out an update which included a new drawing tool in the main menu. *They are working on adding this feature to PicKids but do not have a launch date at this time*

Students can use this tool draw to draw on their vocabulary word as well as use the built in web search to find images. They will first need to type out their word and make it nice and large before decorating.

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

They could use the drawing tool and/or the image search to add decorative elements to their word. Here are a few more:
How to use the PicCollage app to make vocabulary words come alive

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

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

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

Print these posters and hang them around your classroom or keep them digital for students to reference throughout the year. They will LOVE working with words when they get to do the creating.

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

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