Even though knowing the right vocabulary can help students do well in class and improve their test scores, getting them to remember the definitions they hear in class or read during homework can be a challenge. But when students are asked to demonstrate the meaning of a word, they develop multiple mental connections that help them remember the term later.
That’s why making a video can help cement important terms with students — the combination of visuals, music and text make vocabulary more memorable. Here’s a lesson plan that you can use to help your students remember important definitions with video.
This assignment would work best for middle and high school language arts literacy classes (though we offer some suggestions for other subjects below).
Here are a few ways to modify a lesson involving vocabulary videos to either extend the assignment or adapt it to other subjects:
At the start of a vocabulary unit, assign each student one vocabulary word, and have them create a video illustrating the term. Videos should include:
Remind students that they should carefully consider their video style and music choice to make sure they serve the vocabulary word. For example, the video at the top of the post defines “limpid” and uses a light, clear style and song to match the definition. Students can use the images in our Getty Images library of stock photos and video clips in their video to define their term.
Have students email you a link to the assignment or upload their video to Dropbox or your class Google Drive so you can access their project.
Assessment: Collect students’ videos and grade them based on the criteria above. You can also create a rubric to detail exactly what you expect students to do.
Videos as learning tools: The vocabulary videos can be shared during class or posted on your class website or wiki to help your students learn the terms for your unit.