8 Effective Vocabulary Building Activities For Middle Schoolers

Every parent thrives to make their kid edified and upskilled; and being rich in vocabulary comes along with erudite. Research shows strong language abilities with rich vocabulary are related to various positive things, including confidence, joy with family, scholastic achievement, and a wonderful career.

Building vocabulary in our middle school students turns out to be progressively significant. Various tests are posing a potential need to have a rich vocabulary to pass them. Advance writing skills are required for middle school students which requires them to have a large and rich vocabulary.

While there are plenty of activities and games for prepositions, conjunctions, and several other grammar concepts, but can you enhance the vocabulary of middle schoolers with such fun and engaging activities? 

Activities to boost vocabulary for middle school students

Words are the basic foundation required to get proficiency in any language. The students must be taught vocabulary in an interesting way, or else they will lose interest in learning. Therefore,  a set of fun activities to make students learn should be quite interactive and engaging.

We have come up with eight distinct activities that are simple and can be played with a number of words. Pick the activity that draws in you the most. Learning new words regularly gets you a similar spot: A kid with bountiful vocabulary.

1. Draw And Learn The Words

Who doesn’t love to draw? Ask your students to draw, and you may notice a smile on their faces. Making notes by drawing something associated with a given word is a fun activity. This activity improves higher-order thinking capacities in students. 

draw and learn the words

This activity needs just colorful sketch pens and plain sheets. Introduce the activity by inviting students to check the word(or a set of a few words) of the day and draw about it. Let them soak in creativity to draw and color. Later ask them to explain what the word was and what they have dreamed on their sheets. This can be a classroom activity that would make their vocabulary rich and strong as they will associate the drawing with the word and remember it. If possible stick those sheets in class and once in while let students explore the gallery of learning.

This activity helps the students to memorize the word in a creative way. It also improves students’ thinking capacity by drawing about a word.

2. Mimicry And Learning The Words

Vocabulary activities can be more than just memorizing words. That’s why this mimicry activity is perfect for learning words in a fun way. The activity doesn’t need any advance preparation to conduct it. So whenever you get free time, you may conduct this simple yet effective activity. 

mimicry and learning the words

Conduct it in small groups or pairs, make teams, and start the activity. Teams will take turns and act a word just by actions. Show a word or say the word in their ear to start. The rule to follow is they can’t speak; they have to show their actions and make everyone else guess what the word was? Give teams points and have fun in the classroom with this activity. 

This is a fun-filled interaction activity that makes the whole class work together. The activity improves not only their word power but also helps students understand the concept of working with others.

3. Word, word Roll The Word 

This activity is a super simple yet powerful one to make vocabulary rich. You may plan this activity in a small group, and it requires only word cards and a dice to roll. Students can take turns to flip a card and say the word. If they pronounce the word correctly, they will get the number of points showed on the dice. 

However, if the word is pronounced incorrectly, the player would not be awarded any points and the correct pronunciation will be taught to them. The winner student would be one who will get maximum points by telling about more words.

This activity makes learning fun. Students learn to play in small groups. This doesn’t need many items but is very effective to make students learn new words.

4. What’s On My Head

You can conduct the activity for a small group of students. And to organize, just word cards are needed. Each student will get a turn and put a word card on the head(that student should not see the word card) so that they won’t be able to see the card, but others can see it. The student asks a few yes or no queries until they correctly guess the word. For example: “Is this word an adjective?” Tell them to ask questions like the definition or part of speech etc. Once a student guesses their word, the next player comes to take turns and plays. You can use a timer to make the activity more exciting for the students.

what's on my head?

This activity improves not only vocabulary but also builds communication skills by asking questions. This is interactive, and most of the students love to do this activity.

5. The Alphabet activity

This Alphabet activity enforces students to think about if there is any connection between words. The teacher has to introduce a focus word. It can be a new word from the vocabulary students are learning based on any overarching theme. 

In the next step, students have to think of words(one word for each letter of the alphabet set) connected to the given word. Give students one point for each word they tell; earning points make it more fruitful. The student, who tells maximum words, would be the winner of the activity. The educator can make the activity time constraint to make sure each student gets the turn to play it.

Students love to say words quickly, and this activity improves their thinking ability. New words they tell in the class make their vocabulary rich. 

6. Mapping The Mind Activity 

Use this activity as an excellent tool to learn vocabulary by mind mapping. This activity would help students to retain a definition associated with vocabulary words instead of just mugging and forgetting it later. You have to prepare a list of words and the moderator or the teacher would randomly give a word from the list to the student, whosever turn it is.

Ask them to define the word in their own way, and then the next student’s turn comes. Next up the teacher would have to check if the definition is correct or not. Asking students to define the word will help them to make their vocabulary rich as maybe they were not able to define the word before this activity. Moreover, when they are assigned new words, they may learn a few new words to add to their vocabulary.

Introducing the more intentional method to learn a new word and adding it to students’ vocabulary is the main aim of doing the activity. Mind mapping is an effective and efficient way to improve students’ thinking capacity by using their knowledge of words. 

7. Story Time To Learn 

An age-old practice is to writing a sentence that incorporates words from a student’s vocabulary is a great activity. You can even add a solo task for each student to make it more fruitful. 

story time to learn

Divide students in pairs and give them a few words to make a story on their own. Each participant will take a turn to make one sentence at a time. Next student would use the word and the plot of the previous student’s sentence to make another sentence of their own. The idea is to create an entire story based on the new word being given to students. Keep a time-based activity to make it more exciting for the students.

Creating a story based on the given words is quite a fascinating task for middle-grade students. This activity improves students’ creativity and vocabulary at the same time. 

8. Pass That On   

You can conduct the activity with a rubber toy or ball. Ask students to stand in a circle and provide a topic to one student. It can be any vast topic, such as countries or rivers etc. That student would tell the five names, and then the rest of the students should keep passing the ball(or rubber toy).

pass that on

Basically, whosever hand that toy is in, that student would tell 5 words related to the topic given. This activity is much like passing the parcel, only with a plethora of words. To uplift and upscale it a bit, you can also add the clause of spelling the words in between to make sure the student is well-versed with the spelling and correct pronunciation of the words. 

It not only enhances the vocabulary by thinking of more words, but by listening to what other students are telling, they grasp more information and boost their vocabulary unconsciously. 


Classrooms activities to practice and improve vocabulary are the fun-filled helping tools out there and an extraordinary method for inspiring students to concentrate on the focus words. It likewise assists them with inspecting and learning the definitions. The greater part of these activities is that they don’t need a ton of planning or things to play, so you can lead them at whatever point you have additional time that you want to fill or simply need a quick and pleasant action plan.

Students love learning through the fun activities to practice the words to make their jargon rich. These activities are loaded with fun. Students tend to learn and remember more when they are having some fun! Activities can be utilized in the class as a pair or entire gathering action plan.

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