Vocabulary Activities

Barbara J. Feldman

Education experts agree that vocabulary is a vital part of school success, and that reading is the best way to develop one’s vocabulary. But online games and quizzes are one way of shaking it up, and it never hurts to have a little variety in one’s learning toolbox. Here are my vocab picks for the week.

  • A.Word.A.Day5 stars

    Daily words are usually selected around a weekly theme, and emailed free (with definitions) to over a million subscribers. Each word includes the definition, audio pronunciation, etymology, and examples of usage. You can view today's and yesterday's word at the website with a direct link from the left-hand nav. A complete archive of past words is available in either a chronological or alphabetical order, and in plain text as well as the more common HTML web format.

  • Sheppard Software Vocabulary Games5 stars

    In addition to word games such as Hangman and Cluecless Crossword, Sheppard offers five vocabulary quizzes with encouraging spoken feedback. "Good." "Right." "Yes." "Great!" Two of the games draw from a vocabulary of 720 commonly-tested SAT/GRE words. Each round consists of twenty select-the-definition questions, so you can play over and over again, with very little repetition. The others are an expert-level vocab game (with words like "opprobrium" and "eldritch"), and quizzes on computer and medical terminology.

  • Vocabulary Coach5 stars

    With over 4000 vocabulary words and seven games, Vocabulary Coach targets both students studying for standardized tests and grownups wanting to improve their vocabulary. " A few minutes each day is all that it takes. Each day spend 5 minutes on each game; use your new words in your conversations, and perhaps even make flash cards, and before you know it, you'll have a brand new vocabulary!" Each test/game offers three levels of difficulty, so you can start at a level that's just right for you.

  • Vocabulary.com5 stars

    Vocbulary.com is my pick of the week, because it tracks your progress, and changes the words it offers in its quiz based on your previous performance. In addition to the pre-made vocabulary lists (such as PSAT and SAT quizzes) you can build your own by clicking on Vocabulary Lists, and look for the "Create a New List" button. To use the advanced features, such as graphs of your progress, and the ability to test with specific vocab lists, you will need to register for a free account.

  • Vocabulary.co.il5 stars

    With dozens of colorful, interactive vocabulary games, Vocabulary.co.il is perfect for both ESL students learning English for the first time, and middle-school students wanting to increase their vocabulary. The games are organized by type in the left-column menu, and include Phonics, Homophones, SAT Games and more. There is also a search function about mid-page in the same menu. For games in Spanish, German and Latin, click on Foreign Language Games.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Vocabulary Activities." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 11 Sep. 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/vocabulary-activities/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published September 11, 2012. Last modified March 9, 2014.

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