4th Grade Vocabulary Games

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Having a wide vocabulary is hugely valuable. Help your 4th-graders get ahead with their vocabulary by trying out a few of these fun and memorable vocabulary games.

4th Grade Vocabulary Games

In fourth grade, students' vocabularies are expanding fast. They are absorbing huge amounts of knowledge and hearing new words all the time. However making a consistent effort to specifically learn vocabulary can give kids a distinct advantage, putting them, in some cases, years above their peers. We can help them with this by making the process of learning vocabulary fun.

One way to do that is by playing vocabulary games. Try out a few of these ideas, or adapt them to your specific needs.

Synonym Sentences

For this game, put students into groups, and give them a list of sample sentences. Start by having a volunteer student read out one of the sentences. The student to the left must then repeat the sentence, but replace as many words as they can with synonyms. So, instead of 'the dog joyfully ran after the mailman,' they could say 'the canine happily sprinted after the postal worker.'

The sentence continues around the whole group, with each student attempting to come up with a sentence different to the previous examples. When the whole group has attempted the first sentence, they can move on to the next. When they run out of samples, it's up to students to come up with their own sentences and continue the game until the time is up.

This can be played for fun, or, alternatively, students who are unable to come up with a sentence (without using a non-connecting word that was heard before) within a set time limit of 10 seconds can be 'out.' Play continues until only one person in the group remains. That person is declared the winner of that round.

Vocabulary Charades

This game is a simple adaptation on the classic game charades. Students must silently make actions with their hands and body to try to help the group figure out what was written on their card. The only difference with this version is that students can use only vocabulary words that are appropriate for their grade level. Provide these words to them on a set of shuffled index cards.

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