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Indirect Vocabulary Instruction Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

As students progress, it sometimes becomes necessary to let them take the lead. This lesson provides teachers with indirect vocabulary instruction activities designed for classroom use.

Why Indirect?

Indirect (also called student-centered) instruction can be a valuable tool for a number of reasons. First of all, indirect instruction places the majority of the learning responsibility on the student, requiring him or her to use a variety of skills. These skills may include observing, investigating, inferring, and hypothesizing. For indirect instruction to work successfully in the classroom, you, the teacher, must provide clear guidelines regarding how students are expected to perform and behave.

The indirect vocabulary activities detailed below will ask you to get the students started and then basically leave them to their own devices. Once students have received instructions from you, try to mostly remain an observer, but be available to answer questions and get individuals or teams back on task.

Find the Meaning

To prepare for this activity create a list of unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary words students will need to know for an upcoming lesson or unit. For example, if the students just finished a biology unit, you can assign the following three words:

  1. Permeable
  2. Carbohydrate
  3. Aerobic

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