University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Story Vocabulary Writing

Story Vocabulary Writing

LEADERS Handbook of Early Literacy Strategies and Activities

Time: 30 minutes
Group Style: Whole group or small group
Grade Level: 2 and up


The purpose of this activity is to help students understand the meaning of story vocabulary words.


  • Story vocabulary words (one per large index card)
  • Blank sentence strips
  • Paper


  1. With the whole group, introduce the vocabulary words, the pronunciation as well as the meaning.
  2. Explain that the students will be in groups and each group will be given a vocabulary word. It is the group's job to write the definition of their word and then share it with the whole group.
  3. Model this for all of the students, writing the definition on the blank sentence strip.
  4. Have each group then do the same with their vocabulary word.
  5. When all are finished, each group will share with the class.

Teacher Comments

  • To ensure success, be careful which words you assign to the groups.
  • Modeling is critical!