Makes Learning Vocabulary Fun
What’s That Word? A Fun Way to Build Vocabulary is workbook full of fun vocabulary activities for teaching college-prep words in an entertaining way. The 36 classroom-tested lessons are chock full of laughs. What’s That Word? uses word-play, jokes, puns, puzzles, amusing stories, and verbal “jousting” to build vocabulary. It’s a vocabulary escapade! Because the activities teach vocabulary in such an amusing way, students easily remember the words. It really works!
Each lesson has:
- 10 college-prep words grouped by theme
- A witty title like “Bad Words,” “The Love Connection,” “Wild Things,” or “Shady Characters” to capture students’ interest
- Synonyms, antonyms, and definitions
- Entertaining fill-in-the-blank activities for learning new words in context
- Imaginative illustrations of “Yakkity Yak,” who helps “steer” students through the workbook
- Ways to start incorporating new vocabulary words into every day conversations
- Writing activities
- A quiz! (Some of which are puzzles!)
Developing a Fun Vocabulary Activities Workbook
What’s That Word? is a boredom-buster! Developed by veteran high school English teacher, Anne Yale, this fun vocabulary activities workbook is proven to improve vocabulary:
“When I started teaching, I was given random, alphabetized lists of words for teaching vocabulary. The words had been grouped by supposed ‘difficulty.’ And they bored me to tears! If they bored me, I could only imagine what effect they were having on my students. So, I set out to come up with something a little more interesting and a lot more fun.
The trick is to get students hooked, and to get the words into long-term memory. That’s why the words are grouped thematically. The lesson titles are not only memorable, but often they are puns, or involve word-play of some kind. That provides the ‘hook.’
Then, the exercises in each lesson finish the job. They’re based on brain research. Students need to be exposed to new words at least five times in order to really learn them. It also helps in learning vocabulary if students can read, write, hear, and speak the words in context. So, that approach is built in.
I also created fun ways to measure students’ progress. Like using crossword puzzles in place of tests, for example. I took the crossword puzzles and got them enlarged to use with the whole class. As a stand alone group activity, the puzzles make great warm-ups. However, used in conjunction with the lesson, these giant crossword puzzles work well for reinforcing the vocabulary words.
But the proof comes at the end of each school year. Students tell me that not only do they still remember all the words, but they enjoy using them. And that’s important later on, when they take the SAT or ACT exams!”
Proven Vocabulary Building
You don’t have to take the word of just one teacher for it — other teachers, tutors, and parents have used What’s That Word? with the same success. Students enjoy learning vocabulary when it’s fun. With What’s That Word? “kids don’t even think it’s work.”
Here’s what teachers who’ve tested this fun vocabulary activities workbook with their students have to say:
“What’s That Word? is an excellent tool to expose your students to new vocabulary. The words are grouped thematically and have lesson titles that the students will enjoy. I have used this book in my classroom for two years and have noticed a significant increase in students’ retention of the vocabulary words over time. I highly recommend this product to teachers.” ‒ Erica Shultz, High School English/Language Arts Teacher, Austin, TX
“Filled with SAT exam words, What’s That Word? is an engaging approach to learning vocabulary. Though the illustrations might make it more appealing to younger adolescents, the actual word lists are all college-prep. (And who knows, older kids might associate fun with the activity as a result of the artwork.) I used it with my honors nine students and they did the work and performed well on the quiz afterwards. I especially like the way the words are grouped thematically. It made it much easier to build connections and relationships when we discussed and worked with the words.”‒ Desiree Hamill, AP Composition Teacher, Palmdale, CA
“What’s That Word? brilliantly engages high school students by both challenging and encouraging them to utilize language in ways they respond to best: creative writing exercises, clever word games, and contemporary worksheets. Ms. Yale, an accomplished educator, has written a fun vocabulary activities workbook guaranteed to capture the focus of students everywhere; her thematically organized chapters keep each assignment connected to the following assignment–and much like a compelling narrative, students are propelled to complete their assignments. She has packaged the SAT vocabulary list like Disneyland. Your students will be too busy enjoying the rides to recognize the required language arts standards they are surpassing. In addition, you will appreciate the whimsical illustrations, the visual puns, and the chatty fill-in-the-blank exercises throughout the book. This is a vocabulary workbook for 21st century educators and students alike.” ‒ Nancy Carroll, #1 At Home Tutoring, Inc.
“Teaching English composition and creative writing courses at a private university for students whose first language was not English was a challenge. Some of those challenges were the low level of the students’ sentence structure, paragraph structure, and essay format. But, I also discovered that the students had limited vocabularies and were using the same words over and over again in their writing. Then, I was given a copy of What’s That Word? and started incorporating its lessons into my syllabus. Firstly, the students did not know most of the words and secondly, they loved the book’s themes and the graphics. They really became interested in learning the vocabulary words. In addition, the added exercises of using the words in a sentence, matching definitions, crossword puzzles and more added to their fun in learning how to enrich both their writing and oral skills. I highly recommend this book for high school and college teachers who want to beef up (no pun intended) their English composition and writing courses.” ‒ Consuelo Marshall, Asheville, NC