Vocabulary Paraphrase

You start with a list of vocabulary items that you want to review. These could be from students' homework, or the current chapter of the textbook. Prepare a short paraphrased definition of each word.

From Paraphrase to Words

Start by writing four of the words on the board, with lettered labels (A, B, C, D) or use Captur board magnets, like this:

Choice A spatula

Choice Bcolander

Choice C wok

Choice D can opener

Read out a paraphrased definition. Students use their Captur paddles to choose the word that they believe matches the definition. After that, you should use the word in a sentence so that students can hear it in context.

“You use this to drain water. After cooking spaghetti, you pour it all into this, and the water drains out.”

Students should show you Choice B (B), because you have just defined colander. Next, use it in a sentence.

After cooking spaghetti, I pour it all into a colander, and the water drains out.

Now, erase colander to remove that word from the list, and replace it with a new word, so that students always have 4 choices.

When you remove a word, your options depend on how much board space and time you have. If you have plenty of both, then you can keep a list off to the side of all of the words you've already done. Add the most recently-answered word to this list, and then erase it from the list of options.

From Words to Paraphrase

You can distribute a list of the vocabulary to the students, or you can just write each word on the board as you come to them. This is a variation of the activity above, but this time, you'll need to create some false paraphrases for the vocabulary items.

Tell the students that they're going to hear you say the meaning of the word, but sometimes you'll be saying the wrong meaning. The students use their Captur paddles to respond to you. "A" means "True" (the definition matches the word) and "B" means "False" (the definition does not match this word).

Choice A True (the definition matches the word)

Choice B False (the definition does not match the word)

Say the word, and then say a short paraphrased definition of the word. If you're hoping to elicit a "False" response from the students, then your definition could be a near opposite of the real meaning, or it could be totally unrelated.

Teacher: OK, here's the next word: "docile". This means angry and loud. Everyone, please respond.

Students show their Captur paddles. Nearly everyone answers "False" by showing Choice B ("B").

Teacher: Right. "Docile" doesn't mean angry and loud.

If quite a few students get it wrong, be sure that the false definition wasn't misleading, or that the true definition wasn't too confusing.

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