By Amanda McNinch, Struthers City Schools
Susan’s note: Some teachers struggle to effectively use technology in the classroom. During a program I did in Columbus, OH, I met Amanda. She told me about how she uses Google Images to support vocabulary. Amanda was kind enough to outline her strategies so that I could share them here.
Every one of these ideas could be used in any subject area and there are a number of ways you might apply these strategies in your classroom. Please comment below and add your ideas to this list!
1. Continuum of meaning – Have student search a word with degrees of meaning, such as “anger.” Then have them pick five images and order them (from least to most angry), then compare their images with their peers.
2. Continuum of meaning, antonyms – Just like #1, but use antonyms like “hot” and “cold.”
3. Continuum of personal application, close to their lives / far from their lives. For example, use the word “regal.” Students might find an image to represent their cat and and image of Princess Diana to illustrate both ends of the spectrum.
4. Have students make a personal image “glossary” of content vocabulary using google images instead of verbal linguistic definitions.
5. Play “Memory” of words for visual representation. Keep words, definitions, and visual representations of words visible so NO ONE guesses!
6. Play a match game of words and definitions to visual pictures that the teacher finds. This can be used as formative assessment.
7. Post a current events type Google Image. Challenge students to make a link from a vocabulary word to the image, and defend it. Class votes on funniest, best, most meaningful, etc. for prizes or points.
8. Post a word and its meaning. Kids find example and non-example images, and explain why each image fits, or not.
9. Post an image and ask students to find and explain the “most interesting” (or any other qualifier) word to describe that image.
Kids love to use technology and they have fun with these activities!
Struthers City Schools
For more information about using technology to strengthen instruction, see Susan Fitzell’s book, Using iPads and Other Cutting Edge Technology to Strengthen Your Instruction.