Target Learner Population
Grade 10 and 11 students at Chinese high school in the international department.
We have a large portable white board on wheels in the class where we create a Word Wall for the vocabulary words my students need to learn for their final Chinese exams. We use the CET-4 Chinese Vocabulary (Green) Book for grade 10 and 11. This text is government mandated for all grade 10 and 11 learners.
Each week they work on a word list of approximately 30-50 words. They must know the words in Chinese and English, along with the definitions. I work with them to develop context about the words, create lists of synonyms, antonyms, and help them with incorporating the words into grammatically correct sentence structure.
We choose more difficult words to be added to the word wall at the end of each week to create a continuum of the most challenging words to work with in the following weeks and throughout each unit. As they become known we remove some to create space for additional words added each week.
I created printouts of the vocabulary words and laminated them to stick up on the word wall. My students are provided with a laminated word and a sticky note at the beginning of class. They write synonyms, a definition in their own terms, and a sentence to describe the word.
As the semester goes on, we will practice using the most challenging words for games like Pictionary or even Charades and poster making activities to help build context and memory through languaging and visualization. They will also use these words for writing activities and incorporate the relevant words into other lessons with writing.
At the end of each week the students take spelling and vocabulary tests with their Chinese teachers using the words from the green book. Our activities are a great way for them to build their vocabulary in a fun and visual manner.
This video explains how to use a Word Map in your classroom:
My Reflection of Word Maps
I liked the activity as presented by the teacher in the video. I will modify this lesson style to use the CET-4 words and have them work in a similar fashion with the words that are most difficult. Some of the vocabulary words are generally known so we will have enough to work with for definitions, creating visuals, identifying synonyms and antonyms, and writing sentences with the words. We can pin up the visuals as well on our large wall at the back of the class as we can break it into a few sections to showcase their work. I will use the Word Wall and Word Maps as cues when I am giving lessons to incorporate the words into my explanations and activities for my students.
Teaching with the SIOP Model
If you are an educator, parent, or grandparent and looking for practical strategies to use with children, concepts to understand, and ideas that can be easily implemented about how to create space for self and others, you have landed in the right spot.
Children learn how to solve problems the same way they learn how to read, write, and add. Like reading, writing, and adding, there are three specific components to solving problems. These are teachable skills children can learn at any age.