Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
Vocabulary Acquisition
Students will learn new, grade-appropriate vocabulary words by utilizing dictionary and context skills.
I can:

Learn and use new vocabulary words.

Tech Skills:

Students will practice searching in a digital dictionary. Students will also practice dragging and dropping.

Materials and Resources:

Teacher selected vocabulary

Teacher created or chosen vocabulary list

Age appropriate digital dictionary, such as or, and/or print dictionary

Google Slides or other presentation program or word processing program

Grade Level:
  • 3rd-12th Grade
Subject Area:
  • Language Arts

Activity 1

  • Select grade appropriate vocabulary words, such as from a current novel or a content area unit of study. Focus on words with multiple definitions. Select a small set of words to begin with, such as 3-5 words.

  • Provide students with print or digital dictionary.

  • Provide students either a digitally projected set of questions or a paper copy in which the words are used in context in sentences or short paragraphs.

  • Ask students to identify the definition that is being used in the context of the sentence or paragraph.

  • For example: If a student looks up the word appeal on, there will be 11 definitions. The student should identify which number of definition and part of speech is being used in the given sentence or paragraph.

  • Repeat this activity for each word.

  • If working with digitally projecting questions, students could utilize dry erase boards for answering.


Activity 2

  • Repeat a similar style activity with a larger group of words, either in whole class or small group setting.

  • If you used a print dictionary for activity one, try a digital dictionary for activity two.



Practice Activity

  • Using a presentation maker, such as Google Slides, create a document that you can then share with students.Click here to view a sample Google Slides presentation, which you can then make a copy of and use for your own purposes.
  • You could also use a Google Doc, Microsoft Word, or Powerpoint document and use text boxes in a similar fashion. Using a program with slides instead of pages just makes for a cleaner, easier-to-use activity for your students.

  • Using your vocabulary words create an activity that will allow your students to practice dragging and dropping while learning to determine how a word is being used in context.
  • Add one word to the top of the slide or page.

    Create a text box for up to three definitions, though two works better for the size of the slides in a Google Slides presentation.

    Create text boxes for sentence on the bottom of the slide or page in which one sentence matches the use of each definition.

    You can adjust the placement of the boxes to best fit your needs.

    Repeat for as many words as necessary with one slide or page for each.

    Share the Google Slides presentation or Google Doc with your students. This can be done easily through Google Classroom, during which time you can make a copy for each student. Or, be sure the sharing settings are view only and share a link with students. They can then make their own copy to use.  

    If you are using another program, such as Powerpoint or Word, you can also email the file to students. This would give each student his or her own copy automatically. It is also possible to share other file types through Google Classroom.

    Students can then turn in a finished activity through Google Classroom or through emailing you the link to or copy of their finished activity.

  • If you do not wish for students to turn in the finished work, you could also give students time to work on each slide and then review the answers together in class.

Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase..** Specific requirements vary by grade level.**

Consult reference materials, such as dictionaries. **Specific requirements and substandard vary by grade level.**

Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.** Specific requirements vary by grade level.**

Supplementary Resources:

View a list of other dictionaries, especially for younger students, here. allows students to complete many review activities. Visit to use premade word lists or to create your own.

If you would like to help students with spelling as well as vocabulary, visit for a variety of games and activities.
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