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Robust Vocabulary Instruction

Assessing Vocabulary

Speed Rounds
Speed rounds require students to demonstrate their developing
understanding of vocabulary words within a limited amount of time.

The speed rounds can be administered orally, or students can write their
responses.

For oral items, explain that you will read each item only twice. For written
items, provide a time limit and set a timer.

The items for speed rounds can be in a variety of formats, including multiple
choice, fill-in-the blank, and true and false, but should not include items that
require students to generate examples or explanations.

For young children, you can use response cards (Yes/No), or thumbs
up/thumbs down.

Final Assessments
Assessment provides a way for teachers and for students themselves to
track progress in learning.

If the goal of vocabulary instruction is for students to know the meanings of


words and be able to use them in a variety of contexts, then the related
assessments need to tap a deep level of understanding.

It is important to include vocabulary words from previous units of study in


assessments.

Two final assessments for 5th grade students are included in the pages that
follow. Notice the variety of formats used, and the multiple items for each
word.

The first assessment was designed for vocabulary words selected from Out
of the Dust by Karen Hesse. The second assessment was designed for
vocabulary words from The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 by Christopher
Paul Curtis.
Vocabulary: Assessing word meanings Page 1
IL 2231
Vocabulary Test

Name: _____________________________________________

A. Complete each sentence below.

1. The mottled surface of the table looked like

2. It was easy to see that the mouse babies were frail because

3. It was a diverse group of students with

4. “Chaos!” screamed the teacher as she walked into her classroom


and saw

5. The mayor noted the compassion of the police officer who had

6. On a rainy day, an optimist might say, “

7. Nothing seemed to soothe the oil-covered bird even though we


tried by

8. A movie critic said that the violence in the film was relentless
because

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B. Answer each question below.

1. How might a store owner diversify her merchandise?

2. How might an optimistic person be relentless?

C. Give an example of each item below.

1. something that might


soothe

2. some place that is chaotic

3. something that is frail

4. someone who is mottled

5. a relentless situation

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Vocabulary Test

Name: ___________________________________________

1. Please write True or False for each statement below.

a. _______ If you have a vivid memory, it is likely that you


will not be able to remember many details about it.

b. _______ Seniority is related to time.

c. _______ Discrimination can result in some people


getting preferred treatment.

d. _______ If you emulate someone, you probably don’t


respect that person.

e. _______ Intimidation is a hostile act.

f. _______ Because the translator is fluent in both


languages, her translation of the Spanish novel into
French will probably demonstrate a high degree of
fidelity.

2. Would you expect someone who acted haphazardly to produce


work that demonstrated thoughtfulness and care? Why or why not?

3. Would you expect a pervasive belief to be held by just a few


people in a country? Why or why not?

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IL 2231
4. Would you expect two groups who had been segregated for
many years to have a mutual understanding of each other’s ideals and
goals? Why or why not?

5. Would you accuse Byron of being an intimidator? Why or why


not?

6. Fill in the chart below by providing an association for each word as


well as a reason for making that association or connection.

Word Associations Reasons/explanation


EXAMPLE President Kennedy Kennedy was an
eloquent articulate and fluent
speaker who delivered
memorable speeches.

pervasive

hostile

seniority

fidelity

emulate

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7. Select a word from the box below that is an antonym for a word in the
list. Write the antonym next to the word.

NOTE: Not all words in the list will have an antonym. For extra
credit, you can write your own antonym for those words.

friendly contained vague combined ignore

a. haphazard ____________________________

b. seniority ____________________________

c. emulate ____________________________

d. fidelity ____________________________

e. hostile ____________________________

f. discriminate ____________________________

g. segregated ____________________________

h. pervasive ____________________________

i. intimidate ____________________________

j. vivid ____________________________

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IL 2231