Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Hide and Seek Vocabulary!

Linda Gobran
Lee County School District


This activity uses a unique strategy to build student word recognition. Student partners practice new words using their verbal, visual, and kinesthetic intelligences.


The student demonstrates consistent and effective use of interpersonal and academic vocabularies in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The student learns new words in a consistent manner (for example, through reading and writing activities).


-A reading selection
-Vocabulary word cards (to be teacher prepared and hidden around the room)
-Language Master and word cards (new vocabulary words should be recorded prior to the lesson)
-Realia as needed for defining vocabulary
-Colored pencils
-Index cards 3 x 5” (each student will need one card for each vocabulary word introduced)
-Single hole punches
-Chart paper or chalkboard
-Markers or chalk
-Masking tape to hang word cards on chart paper
-A vocabulary checklist (each student will need one for assessment purposes)


1. Choose challenging vocabulary words from the reading selection.
2. Make copies of the vocabulary checklist for students.
3. Make vocabulary word cards.
4. Gather materials for the activity.
5. Before students enter the room, hide new vocabulary word cards around the room. (Limit your words to 10.)


Note: This lesson addresses vocabulary recognition for the purpose of increasing reading fluency.

The session will be a 45-50 minute lesson with daily reviews and a formative assessment on day five.

1. Tell students that you have hidden 10 cards around the room.

2. Have students find the cards.

3. One at a time, ask students who found cards to place them on the chalkboard ledge or post them on chart paper.

4. As the cards are placed on the chalkboard or posted, ask for volunteers to read the new words. If there are no volunteers, the teacher reads the new word.

5. Ask students if they have ever been challenged with unfamiliar vocabulary. Perhaps they couldn’t finish an assignment, or chose another library book because the vocabulary words were too difficult. Encourage students to share their experiences.

6. Explain that today the class will use the vocabulary word cards so that when they read a selection next week they will read with better fluency.

7. Read each vocabulary word card aloud. Have the class repeat each word after you pronounce it. Then, use realia or briefly explain the meaning of each word. Write a simple definition next to each word.

8. Distribute activity materials (3 x 5 index cards, colored pencils, hole punches, 1˝ inch loose-leaf rings).

9. Model making a word card for one of the new vocabulary words. Make sure students understand that the word should be written on the lined side of the index card and an illustration for definition recall will be on the other side of the card. Be sure they punch a hole in the upper left corner for the loose- leaf ring. (Post your sample for student reference.)

10. Have each student make a set of 10 cards.

11. Review the correct pronunciation of each word. Have students repeat each word as you say it.

12. Model how to use the Language Master. Make sure each student is familiar with the correct procedure for using the machine. (Students who aren’t sure of the correct pronunciation will use the language master to review.)

13. Ask for a student volunteer. Use the set of word cards as you would flashcards. First, you will read the word as the student holds each card up. When you have finished the set, the student will read each word.

14. Students choose partners and repeat the procedure.

15. Monitor and assist students as necessary, making sure everyone has the opportunity to complete the activity.

16. Partners use the word cards daily, 3-4 minutes, for one week.
Tell students they will be formatively assessed when they read the selection orally. (Provide a checklist and feedback for each student.)

17. Have students read the selection orally. Provide ample time for feedback and discussion.

18. Formatively assess students.


Note: This assessment is aligned with that part of the standard that assesses student demonstration of consistent and effective use of interpersonal and academic vocabularies in reading.

Assessment Description:

Formatively assess student recognition of new words as the student reads a selection orally, providing corrective feedback as necessary. A checklist of new words could be used for the assessment.


1. Cut vocabulary word cards into shapes relating to the reading selection or the season.
2. Color-code vocabulary word cards to match selection read.
3. Students self-assess as they become more familiar with the activity.
4. Volunteer students record words on the Language Master.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.