By Teachers, For Teachers
Word Splash is a comprehension and vocabulary strategy that makes learning terminology easier for students. It’s a fun, interactive activity (that should be a part of your collection of classroom games) that engages students and motivates them to learn new words while by setting a clear purpose for reading. Here we will take a look at how it works and how to use it.
How it Works
Before beginning a new chapter or unit of study, the teacher determines important terminology or key concepts for the topic. Then the words are “splashed” or displayed (preferably in an angle) on the front board or somewhere in the classroom. Students brainstorm and generate complete statements connecting the words or phrases. They predict how the words relate to the main topic. Once they have predicated and generated their statements, students then read the printed material to check their accuracy and revise if needed.
Introducing Word Splash
Word Splash can be used for any topic and in any subject. Before introducing Word Splash, decide on a topic and determine the most important vocabulary words or key concepts about that topic. For this example we will be using the following terms: Slavery, Freedom, Conductor, Underground Railroad, African-American, Abolitionist, (Harriet Tubman).
Extension activity Have students use the words to write complete sentences about Harriet Tubman. For example. Harriet Tubman was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. She was an Abolitionist who escaped slavery to help other African-American slaves escape to freedom.
Word Splash can also be used to teach important math terminology. Before beginning a unit on measurement, write the following key terms on the front board: Area, centimeter, inches, foot, length, height, perimeter, meter. Have students read the words and guess what each term means. Hang the terms from the ceiling and keep them their throughout the unit. As the unit progresses, encourage students to draw and write their own definitions of the terms in their notebooks. This can be used as a study aid to help students recall words.
Suggestions for Application
Here are a few ways you can use the Word Splash strategy in your classroom as part of your collection of classroom games.
How to Keep it Fun and Interesting
To keep the Word Splash strategy fun, try and vary the way you present it. Here are a few ideas.
Research shows that we read better when we have a purpose. The Word Splash strategy is the perfect choice for struggling or reluctant readers. It provides them with a purpose for reading which help capture their attention and motivate them to learn. Give it a try and let us know how it went.
Have you ever used the Word Splash strategy in your classroom? Do you have any creative ways to display the words? Share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.