Today’s vocabulary activity is called “How Are We Related?” and reinforces the relationship between mathematical terms and vocabulary. It’s a great activity to promote critical thinking as students search for the relationship between seemingly unconnected terms. It’s also a great way to increase the rigor of the average definition-focused vocabulary activity because students have to truly understand the word in order to be able to connect it to another word.

Frame by Catherine S from https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Borders-1983569 |

**Here’s how it works: **

1. Pick two grade-level math vocabulary words or terms. You may want to ask students to define the words before continuing.

2. Give students think time.

3. Have students complete the sentence: A (An) __________ is like a (an) __________ because ___________________. They are different because _______________________. **Here are some examples: **

a. A **rectangle** is like a **square** because they both have four sides. They are different because a square must have four equal sides and the sides on a rectangle do not have to be equal.

b. An **inch** is like a **gallon** because they are both used as units to give measurements. They are different because inches are used in linear measurement and gallons are used to measure capacity.

c. **Add** is like **subtract** because they are both actions. They are different because to add means to join objects and to subtract means to separate objects. (This is a very general statement but should be validated. As the teacher, you can then elaborate on the uses of addition and subtraction.)

d. A **fraction** is like a **decimal** because they are both parts of wholes. They are different because fractions are represented as a part over a whole (or set) using a horizontal bar, or vinculum, to separate the numerator from the denominator and a decimal is represented as a number where the part is expressed by digits placed to the right of a decimal point and the whole is a power of ten. (Whew! That was a challenge!)

This activity can be challenging, so you may want to begin by choosing words where students can easily find a relationship and then gradually choose words where the relationship is harder to find. Also, be sure to validate any connection that will work, even if a student says that both terms are action words. Reward the thinking here and elaborate or correct misconceptions later.

**Sound Off!**How do you review and reinforce vocabulary with your students?

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