Vocabulary is key when it comes to expressing yourself clearly and communicating with clarity. You need an extensive vocabulary to improve comprehension and all areas of communication from speaking to reading, listening and writing.
Research has shown that kids need to know 50,000 word families by the end of 12th grade.
To reach this milestone, they will need to learn around 3,000 to 4,000 words per year – which means you’ve got to teach them up to 20 words a day!
With goals like that, you need all the help you can get!
In this blog post, I’m going to share some of the best resources for boosting vocabulary. These resources are not just for advanced readers. They apply to all levels!
The importance of voluminous vocabulary is something that we discussed in detail in my previous blog post, which you can read right here.
(To watch the video where I discuss some of the best vocabulary resources in more detail, hit play below or read on for a detailed overview)
Would you like to get your hands on some FREE vocabulary resources? Keep reading to find out how!
But first…let’s explore some of these fantastic vocabulary resources in more detail:
First up we have FreeRice. This non-profit website supports the United Nations World Food Programme and has two main goals:
1. Provide education to everyone for free
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free
When you answer a question correctly, the website donates 10 grains of rice. So, if you get ten questions right, the site donates 100 grains of rice on your behalf. It’s super easy to use, and kids will get the hang of it very quickly. It not only helps them build their vocabulary, but it also teaches them the value of helping others.
I love this website. It’s a free game that tailors the vocabulary instruction to each student’s level. The website raises and decreases difficulty levels depending on each child’s individual skills level. If they get the answer right, the next question will be slightly harder. And, if they get it wrong, the next question will be easier. This means that kids will be asked questions that are parallel to their level, while also giving them the opportunity to improve.
ReadWorks is a reading and comprehension site that also helps boost vocabulary, which means it’s a triple threat! It’s got tons of free content and tools to help teach kids ranging from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.
You can choose from digital classes, where students can complete assignments online. Or, you can easily print the content and share it with your students in print-form. One of the best things about this website is that you can search for the topic you’re currently teaching in the classroom and find relevant passages.
When you search for a specific topic, the website generates a range of resources for you according to grade level. You can find everything from question sets to eBooks, vocabulary activities and human-voice audio, etc.
The audio versions are great for kids who need some extra assistance where they can listen along to texts and questions. There’s also support for ELL, SPED, and struggling readers, which makes ReadWords an excellent resource for a wide range of students.
Teachers can track student progress, which is a great way to see how your kids are doing and where they need some practice or improvement. When trying to boost your kids’ vocabulary, you can search for relevant words from the passages in more detail. The website lists the most relevant words and includes the option for students to look up the definition, which is a great way to help improve both vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Roots to Words
Roots to Words is an app that provides high-quality digital literacy programs to educators that offers lots of free resources including ready-made lesson plans, webinars, videos and much more.
I love this app for building vocabulary because it focuses on teaching word roots. It’s important to teach word roots to our kiddos because once they have a good understanding of roots, they can decode other unfamiliar words that branch from a single root word.
A lot of the activities available with this app are focused on vocab building. Kids will combine different root combinations and combine them with various prefixes and suffixes, etc. It’s fun and free, but it can be a bit challenging which is why I would advise letting the more advanced kids in the classroom try this one!
Flocabulary is definitely one that the kids are going to love because it focuses on engaging ways to teach by “bringing joy to every classroom.” It uses a lot of sound effects, animations, and graphics, which makes it a lot more entertaining!
You can incorporate vocabulary into each lesson in a fun and exciting way because it integrates music with word learning.
However, Flocabulary isn’t free. But it does offer a 30-day free trial so that you can test the waters and see if it works for your classroom or not. If it does, I suggest that you try and get support from your school to fund the costs of the program because it’s such an excellent vocabulary boosting tool.
And last but not least we have TextProject, which is my all-time favorite resource for boosting vocabulary. It’s a non-profit organization based on the work of its CEO and founder, Elfrieda Hiebert. The website focuses on bringing struggling readers to high levels of literacy using practical strategies and tools.
There are hundreds of free resources up for grabs for teachers, parents, and tutors, including classroom reading activities that help students understand how vocabulary works, rather than merely teaching them to memorize dozens of new words. You can download the resources for free which includes everything from vocabulary lessons to lists, videos and more.
I would say that TextProject is one of the best resources on this list, especially if you want to teach your kids those 4,000 words they need to learn to become good readers by the end of 12th grade!
I’ve gone through a few of my favorite vocabulary resources with you in this blog post, but many others are worth trying!
If you would like to access the full list of FREE resources for boosting vocabulary, just leave your name, and email address below and the downloadable PDF will be sent directly to your inbox!
What are your favorite vocabulary resources? Have you tried any of the ones mentioned in this list? Let me know in the comment section below!