Middle School Vocabulary Instruction that ACTUALLY Works!

Check out my ELA Vocabulary Warm-Ups that will change the way your middle school students learn vocabulary!

August. Is. Here.

It’s game time, people!


Raise your hand if you’re ready??!!


Truly, I hope you are feeling rejuvenated and energized and ready to tackle another school year! Your students are SO lucky to have you!

Here’s a little something that may help!

ELA Vocabulary Warm-Ups for the WIN!

The past couple of weeks I have been thinking about maximizing instruction time and effectiveness–specifically in the context of vocabulary instruction.

What I want to offer you today is a slightly unconventional method of teaching vocabulary.

Some may balk at this, but I promise you…

It. Actually. Works.

I’m sure we all are familiar with long lists of vocabulary words that students may (or may not) memorize for a week and then file away into the dark recesses of their brains for all eternity.


In all seriousness, while I really don’t want to knock anyone who uses this method (I’ve used it myself in the past), the problem that I have encountered in my own teaching experience is that students rarely remember any of the words.

I realized I was spending a lot of time on vocabulary instruction that just wasn’t effective.

A few years ago, I decided to think about vocabulary a little bit differently.

Deep-not Wide!

Instead of asking students to use their short-term memories to learn long lists of words for a week, I began asking students to learn and remember a short list of words for a month!

While at the beginning of each term, we started with just three words. We would build upon those words each week:

  • Week 1: We tested n words 1-3
  • Week 2: We tested on words 1-6
  • Week 3: We tested on words 1-9
  • Week 4: We tested on words 1-12
  • Week 5: We tested on words 4-15
  • Week 6: We tested on words 7-18
  • And so on…

At the end of the term, we would have a final vocabulary quiz that would assess students’ knowledge of all the words from that quarter.

Several weeks into this vocabulary experiment, I was thrilled to discover that it was working!


My students who struggled on the weekly quizzes the first time they encountered the words, often had them mastered by the third and fourth weeks working with those words!

Students were using the vocabulary words in our conversations, their writings, and other classwork!


Additional Skill Improvement!

In addition to *actually* learning the vocabulary words, students were also improving in other areas that were incorporated into this vocabulary method, including: using context clues, learning about grammar, spelling, usage, conventions, etc. as they completed the daily warm-up activities.

Multiple Levels of Vocabulary

I have created vocabulary lists for 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade

What does all this look like? Click here to view a short YouTube video with more info!

FREE Two-Week Trial

While I love this method, I realize it may not be for everyone. And that’s okay!

I would HATE for you to invest in a product that isn’t for you! To help you make an informed decision, I’ve created some totally FREE two-week trials for you to get a feel for this resource and decide if it’s for you or not!

6th Grade FREE Two-Week Trial


7th Grade FREE Two-Week Trial


8th Grade FREE Two-Week Trial


When You’re Ready, Here are the Full 1st Quarter Versions!


(8th Grade Teachers: I love you and am wrapping up your full 1st quarter resource! The summer was busy and I’m still finishing it up! Stay tuned!)

ELA Vocabulary Warm-Ups: Introductory Offer!

I’ve been using these resources in my classroom for years, and I had every intention of having it packaged and ready for my store by now. Unfortunately, as I’ve shared, it’s been a jam-packed, non-stop summer and I’m not quite finished. I’m still putting some of it into a teacher friendly, ready-to-use format so it’s incredibly easy for you to use in your classrooms!

Just for fun (and because I love you guys), I’ve decided to post this in my store as a “Growing Bundle.”


What in the world is that, you ask? Let me ‘splain!

If you buy the 1st Quarter resources that I have posted now, they will cost you the price of that resource. BUT, as I finish packaging up the rest of the year’s warm-ups and vocabulary Slides, I will add them to this original product at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

That’s right! If you buy now, you’ll get an entire year’s worth of vocabulary warm-ups, reviews, quizzes, conventions instruction, and more for one low price.

As I add to this resource, the price will go up to reflect the added value.

If you’re at all interested or think you might one day be interested, now is the time to buy!

Don’t miss out on this deal!

In the meantime, if you have any questions, email me and I will get back to you!

Until Next Time,

Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)

Leave a Reply