Get more inspiration delivered to your inbox!

Improving Student Vocabulary | Engaging Teaching Resources

Hero image
Photo of Alison Smith
Updated | 3 min read

Why is improving student vocabulary so important?

Vocabulary development is essential for reading comprehension, writing quality, listening vocabulary and speaking vocabulary. So, acquiring new words is critical for your students’ success in all areas of life. Research has shown that students with learning difficulties are likely to struggle with reading comprehension because they do not have the oral vocab needed to understand texts.

Because teaching and learning vocabulary is so important we have created some new, vibrant, hands-on learning tools. Get ready for your head to spin! It’s brilliant!


Read on to find out more…

Wheely Wonderful Words

The Wheely Wonderful Words – Emotional States VocabularyWheely Wonderful Words – Overused Adjectivesand Wheely Wonderful Words – Overused Verbs are the latest addition to our huge Vocabulary Collection.

They are curriculum-aligned for the upper years and are perfect to use when exploring the effect of using vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning.


The Wheely Wonderful Words – Emotional States Vocabulary is a word wheel of synonyms used to describe emotional states.

Wheely Wonderful Words – Overused Adjectives is a word wheel of synonyms and similar words that could be used instead of some commonly overused adjectives.

And finally, Wheely Wonderful Words – Overused Verbs can be used to help your students choose the best possible verbs in their writing.

How to Use Wheely Wonderful Words

It’s easy to use the wheely wonderful resources! As you can see, each resource as a wheel with 3 rings.

Explain to your students that the words in the:

  • centre should not be used very often. They are a guide for finding better words to use instead.
  • second ring are synonyms for the middle words. They can be used more often.
  • outer ring are especially descriptive and can be used in very specific circumstances when you want to be more precise with your descriptions.

Students can secure it in the back of their writing books and refer to it during writing tasks. It can also be used for an English group activity.

Vocabulary English Group Activity

For a super cool English group activity, create one of the Wheely Wonderful Words spinners.

How to make Wheely Wonderful Words Spinners:

  1. Attach a split pin at the centre point of the wheel.
  2. Cut an arrow shape using coloured tape. Secure the tape arrow to a desk.
  3. Spin the wheel gently and generate a synonym.

Suggested Teaching and Learning Sequence:

  • Discussion – provide context for the word. Encourage the students to describe a time when they have seen that word
  • Model writing – model how to write a simple or compound sentence including the word.
  • Guided writing – using students’ ideas and suggestions, construct a simple or a compound sentence using the word.
  • Independent writing – encourage students to write a simple or compound sentence independently.

Wheely Wonderful Words – Differentiation Tips

As we know, it’s important to differentiate teaching and learning expectations to meet the needs of all students. So, to help you to differentiate for less confident learners, we have included a wedge cut out.

meeting student needs by using the wedge cut-out.

This extra feature enables students to focus on one area at a time.

The wedge comes as an included feature with all the Wheely Wonderful Wheels! Simply print and cut out the wedge and secure it with a split pin.

Tips to Improve Student Vocabulary

The three critical steps to improving student vocabulary are:

  • explicit vocabulary instruction
  • repeated exposure the new word
  • sufficient opportunity to use the word in activities.

Also, try to make learning new words part of your daily classroom routine. Why not try Word of the Week?

For more information on how to use Word of the Week read my blog Word of the Week | Expanding Vocabulary in the Classroom.

To sum it up, improving student vocabulary is vital for students across all year levels and learning areas. Finding creative ways to learn new words is the key to making it fun. So download Wheely Wonderful Words – Emotional States VocabularyWheely Wonderful Words – Overused AdjectivesandWheely Wonderful Words – Overused Verbs now!

Share your tips and ideas on Instagram #teachstarter


Login to comment

Popular blogs right now!

Get more inspiration
delivered to your inbox!

Receive the Teach Starter newsletter full of tips, news
and resources with your free membership.

Sign Up