Aug 3, 2014

Palabras Prodigiosas: Independent Vocabulary Enrichment


Increasing student vocabulary is essential to their success; we all know this, but isn't it a struggle to actually do it? When we make word lists, we find they are too difficult for some students, and far too easy for others. We might try to make individual word lists, or at least group students, but what busy teacher has the time to sustain that? Not many of us, for sure!

So, what to do? Make students responsible for their own learning, of course! If we can get them excited about learning new words, and give them the basic resources they need to do so, we may just be surprised by how many new words they acquire, and how well they use them.

Today I'm sharing some of the "Palabras prodigiosas" sheets I make available for my students. They can generally choose which one to use, though I might require a particular one at times. I don't require certain words, though; they choose words from the books they are reading. If we are reading together and come across a word I am not sure they know, I might ask about it; if they're not sure, I'll just note that it would be a great palabra prodigiosa, without defining it for them, and let them come back to it later. I have a nine different sheets that make them useful for students who are just learning to write all the way through those who are able to identify their part of speech and write full definitions and examples.

Here are four examples (the lines don't all show up in these images, so the printables you download will look better!):

Once they've investigated their word and filled in one of the sheets, they can add it to our word wall, which is labeled, of course, Palabras prodigiosas!

What do you do to make vocabulary enrichment meaningful for your students? Please share!

Download your copy of all nine Palabras prodigiosas sheets here!

And don't forget our dual language Twitter chat coming up tonight! Our theme this month is Empowering Parents to Raise Bilingual Children. Join in, or just follow along, at 8 p.m. CST tonight!

Please promote on twitter, FB, Blogs. Hope you can join us tomorrow Sun Aug 3  #DualLangChat  6 pm PST/ 8pm CST
Happy word work to you!



  1. LOVE the sheets and your approach to vocabulary instruction....I will be using this in my classroom for sure. Thank you.


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  3. Our posts worked so well together, completely unplanned! I found the same dynamics with spelling instruction that you did; we only seem to need it for the b/v, c/s/z, and homophones. Hence this approach! Can't wait to hear how it goes in your classroom.



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