Allowing students to use descriptions composed of everyday language is important in effective vocabulary comprehension and retention.  One way to do this is through a vocabulary self-awareness chart.  Teachers then can revisit this chart throughout the unit of study, creating multiple opportunities for students to monitor their learning of the vocabulary.

Here are the steps to completing this chart:

Student Directions:

  1. Examine the list of words you have written in the first column
  2. Put a “+” next to each word you know well, and give an accurate example and definition of the word.  Your definition and example must relate to the unit of study.
  3. Place a “check” next to any words for which you can write only a definition or an example, but not both.
  4. Place a “?“ next to words that are new to you.

You will use this chart throughout the unit.  By the end of the unit should have the entire chart completed.  Because you will be revising this chart, write in pencil.  


Vocabulary self-awareness chart (PDF)

Vocabulary self-awareness chart (WORD)

Improving Student Learning through Effective Vocabulary Instruction page