ELA Vocabulary Unit 1: Tier 2 Vocabulary List and Activities - Distance Learning

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Still haven't found a vocabulary unit you love? It took me years to find my groove with vocabulary instruction. I knew I wanted my students to enjoy learning new words and to remember them long term! What you'll find in this two-week vocabulary unit are strategies that work. From a solid ELA word list to an efficient vocabulary template and an engaging word wall activity, students will be ready to become word nerds!


1. A direct-instruction presentation that you can use to introduce words to students. I recommend discussing one word each day, which makes them convenient bell ringers. Each day, students will learn one new word by first inferring the definition from context and then verifying their thinking by reviewing the correct definition, synonym, antonym, and more. The presentation comes in editable PowerPoint, partially editable Google Slides, and a secure PDF format. You can import the PowerPoint presentation to Google Slides, if you prefer that platform.

2. Unique vocabulary templates that function as efficient student notes pages. Students will be able to make multiple connections with their new words as they think about them for the first time. Use these templates and the introductory presentation to hold a short discussion with students about the word of the day. Included as Google Slide and PDF options.

3. A vocabulary word wall activity that you can assign as a review. Have students do the creative thinking! Ask students to draw an image that is related to the vocabulary word onto the existing template. Or, let them complete the task by selecting a picture digitally. This vocabulary word wall template is included in both black and white and color well as PDF, Google Slides, and Power Point formats.

4. A stoplight self-assessment that will help students to track their learning before and after the unit. This activity is included in both Google Sheets and PDF formats.

5. A vocabulary reflection Google Form activity students will use to prioritize the words they feel are most helpful for life - speaking and writing.

6. A quiz to assess students' understanding of the new words. This quiz is included in PDF, Google Forms, and editable PowerPoint formats. Also, you will find three different levels: modified, standard, and save you time from having to adapt the assessment for different readiness levels.


The vocabulary list for this two-week unit includes specious, ubiquitous, plethora, flippant, redundant, meticulous, surreptitious, and deft. These are words that students need to be able to use in writing and speaking, but they are also words common in literature.


  • Two weeks is the suggested time frame, although you may adapt it to fit your needs.
  • This vocabulary unit is recommended for grades 8-11.
  • Pair this unit with any of these brain-based, differentiated vocabulary activities to further reinforce learning and to spiral back to words from previous lists.

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Total Pages
40 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, its etymology, or its standard usage.
Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception, conceivable).
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.


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