There are a variety of ways to assess vocabulary. The most basic technique teachers use to assess vocabulary is to ask the definition of the word.The students are given their list of vocabulary and without the use of resources, they are to write out the definition for each word. While this technique is easy for the teacher to create and grade, it does not fully assess the child's vocabulary skills. Many students can memorize definitions, but many students can't use these words in writing and context. Here are some fun and creative ways to assess vocabulary.

Vocabulary games are a great way for teachers to assess if the students are understanding vocabulary. Some vocabulary games include, but are not limited to:
Source: Education Weekly
Source: Education Weekly






  • Crossword puzzles- This can be used for more of a formative assessment rather than summative assessment. Most likely, the student will do the puzzles correctly because with the process of elimination and the amount of letter blocks, students can put the words in the correct spots without having to look at every definition.












  • Word search- This is can be a formative assessment. The teacher provides the definitions and students search for the words in the word search. Students would have to write the vocabulary word next to the definition as well. This is just a fun way for students to study their vocabulary words. Students could use this as a study guide for the summative assessment.



Source: Bing Images
Source: Bing Images








  • Myvocabulary.com has hundreds of vocabulary games. This website should not be used for summative assessments. The words used on the website are very sporadic and not necessary for core content. For example, there are games and assessments for SAT words. It also has games and assessments for words that wizards would use. This website can be used when some students are finished with a test or assignment early. As other students are completing their work, the student can get on this website to learn fun words. Here is the link to the wizard lesson: http://www.myvocabulary.com/word-game-puzzles/wizard-words-vocabulary/interactive-puzzles/
    The website is very safe and easy for students to access. There are no pop ups or ads on the site.
Source: Myvocabulary.com
Source: Myvocabulary.com





Synonyms and Antonyms- An assessment over the synonyms and antonyms of a set of vocabulary words can be used as a summative assessment. If the vocabulary word is difficult for the students to remember the definition, associating a similar word may help the students use the word in writing and understand the meaning of the word in reading. Antonyms also help with word recognition. Here is an example of a synonyms and antonyms worksheet. This may also be used as a summative assessment.
Source: Bing Images
Source: Bing Images






Word Journals. These can be used to create an personal dictionary. There are a variety of ways a teacher can assign a vocabulary journal.
  • The journals can be used a personal use. When students encounter new words at home or in everyday life, the students write them down and later on, look up the deifnition. Once a week, the students can share their new words and their meanings.
  • Teachers can also have students use the journals solely in the classroom. When reading, students can jot down new vocabulary words. If the student can determine the definition through context clues, they can write the quote or they can look the word up in the dictionary.
  • The teacher could also give specific vocabulary words for students to put in their word journal. Only this way can the teacher perform a summative assessment. This is because their is a set list of vocabulary words all the students have.

Source: Google Images
Source: Google Images






Assessing During Reading- This worksheet includes a variety of different new vocabulary techniques. Students can choose a few words out of their vocabulary journal. These words should be ones students really struggled with or still do not fully comprehend. On the worksheet, students are asked to provide a synonym, antonym, root word, part of speech, and an illustration. As this worksheet is a little more advanced, students in upper middle grades or high school are best suited to complete this. The teacher can adapt this worksheet for specific grade levels. For example, for high school students, the teacher may want to take out the illustration section. The students should not write on the worksheet attached. If the teacher is providing the vocabulary words, he or she will list the words on this worksheet. The students will complete the sections of the worksheet on a separate sheet of paper.
Assessing During Reading







Vocabulary Assessments for Struggling Students
Poor results of reading and writing may be the result of not knowing the meaning of the word or not being able to write it. Therefore, vocabulary development is vital for struggling students. Because students with learning disabilities just can't memorize definition after definition, these students need to different assessments. For younger students, a formal assessment of vocabulary can have students point to pictures that best represent the vocabulary words. For older students, about middle school age, the teacher can use sentences where the vocabulary words are used. Then, the teacher can ask what is the vocabulary word and the student can use context clues. Here is an example of a question that could be on a vocabulary assessment.

Read the following sentence and then answer the question that follows:
When the teacher heard that her student had stopped spending time with her usual friends, the teacher complimented her for making good choices.
What do you think the teacher thought of her student's friends?

This specific question may be a little advanced for some struggling middle school students, so this question can also be in a high school assessment.
Source: Bing Images
Source: Bing Images