Vocabulary is a word every teacher dreads. There are endless possibilities as to why. One option is that printing out vocabulary worksheets, study guides and giving vocabulary tests every week can feel absolutely painful. Why? Because 3 weeks later, students don’t remember what the word means when they see it in a book or reading, and teachers want to pull their hair out! So as I was sitting at my desk one summer looking at which 5th grade vocabulary worksheets from my vocabulary curriculum I wanted to copy first, I just had enough and decided to create 5th grade vocabulary activities that were engaging, fun, and actually helped students learn the meaning of the vocabulary words!
5th Grade Vocabulary Activities (That Are Actually Engaging)
Teaching upper elementary can be a challenge. They often do not find anything (no matter how impressive) “cool.” So vocabulary practice and learning new vocabulary words is no laughing matter. Here are some classroom vocabulary activities that are fun ways to study vocabulary and easy to implement into your language arts curriculum.
Personal Word Wall
Okay, so this one is not the most fun out of all the 5th grade vocabulary activities I will share. But it is the perfect introduction activity for each vocabulary word. But, it is valuable and necessary to help students remember the words.
Students take each word and write it on their personal word wall. They then have to write the definition, part of speech, and a sentence, and these help them see the word in different contexts. I have also seen teachers have students write down the root word or a suffix/prefix they recognize.
Students can then reflect and look back on each word to remember the meaning, and many times my students have used it to help add to their writing pieces.
Unknown Vocabulary Word Search
This activity is definitely a little more “fun” for students. They must use their detective skills to figure out the unknown vocabulary word. Each student picks a word and uses clues, sentences, part of speech, and more to help their classmates figure out which word they chose.
This activity also helps students work on the complex skill of using context clues to determine a word or the meaning, looking at the sentences, root words, etc.
Spin It! Vocabulary Style
This 5th grade vocabulary activity is always a favorite since it is like a game! For each vocabulary word, the students use the spinner, and whichever section is the activity they must complete. Students draw, rhyme the word, act it out, and more! When developing activities with vocabulary words,
I always consider different learners. You want to make sure each student has a range of activities to help them learn the word, therefore, they can remember it past the vocabulary quiz.
Vocabulary Choice Board
In fifth grade, we often try to foster true independence in students. Using a choice board helps students feel like they can independently pick which vocabulary task they would like to do, and most of them are totally fun!
It is a great way to help students who struggle with new words, and they can choose the learning style they know helps them best! Some activities I use on my vocabulary choice boards are writing a song describing and explaining a vocabulary word and creating a PowerPoint that describes and explains a vocabulary word.
Using choice boards allows you to have daily vocabulary activities because students can pick one each day! They are great for reading rotations or for morning work.
Roll a Vocabulary Word
This one falls into the category of easy vocabulary games for 5th grade, just like the Spin It game! The student must roll the die (you can use a digital one, too), and whichever number the dice lands on is the activity they must complete.
Vocabulary Full Year Resource
It can be challenging to figure out which vocabulary words you need to teach and develop activities to increase vocabulary. My 5th grade vocabulary words with definitions year-long resource has everything you need.
It includes activities to teach vocabulary to elementary students and fun ways to introduce vocabulary.
The 5th Grade Vocabulary Activities Include:
- 140 vocabulary words with definitions and parts of speech (2 versions)
- Student Dictionaries (2 versions)
- Vocabulary Word Hunt Posters
- Word Wall Vocabulary Cards
- Part of Speech Word Sort Cards
- Vocabulary Word/Definition Matching Game
- “Don’t Say That Word!” Game
- Roll the Dice Printable
- Spin It! Activity
- Tic-Tac-Toe Board of Activities
- “The Case of the Missing Word” Trifold Activity
5th Grade Activities For Vocabulary
Yes, vocabulary is not any kids’ favorite activity. It is ok for students to feel this way, but if you look for engaging and fun ways to study vocabulary words, they will come around!
Looking for other vocabulary blog posts? Check this one out!