Forty Best-practices Instructional Activities

Word Webs
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40 Best-practices
Instructional Activities

Background: A word web is similar to a concept map. Students generate and map ideas based on topic-related vocabulary words.

Procedures: Choose a topic-related vocabulary word for the center of the page. Web ideas in offshoot sections from the selected word. Categories for offshoot ideas include: definitions, synonyms (related words), antonyms (words with opposite meanings), usage or parts of speech, context sentences, pronunciations, and related topics or themes.

Example: Habitat: “There’s No Place Like Home”
1. Definition: the place where an animal lives
2. Usage: noun
3. Related Words: home, environment, ecosystem, biome, refuge, sanctuary, wetland, coastal plain, river
4. Context Sentences: Preventing habitat loss helps protect wildlife. Caribou live on the tundra. This polar place is its natural habitat.
5. Related Topics: Conservation, Adaptations, Landscapes, Migratory Routes.

1. Divide the class into small groups. Each group is assigned one or more categories (definitions, synonyms, antonyms, usage, context sentences, etc). During a given period of time, the group uses reference materials to collect information specific to their category. Create a Word Wall Web using each group’s information.
2. Create Word Riddles using the information students collect on the webs. Use the category ideas as clues. Reveal general clues to more specific clues until students guess the word.

Reading Strategies: Activate Prior Knowledge, Summarize Information, Draw Conclusions, Make Generalizations, Generate Questions, Identify Main Ideas and Details, Classify Information, Build Vocabulary, Make Connections, Identify and Explore Themes, Utilize Resources for Research Purposes