This activity is a fun, easy way to get a simple self-assessment of prior vocabulary knowledge with students before beginning a new text. I use this both in whole group instruction and in small-groups as an introduction to words from a new unit or text. It is important for students to be able to determine their own level of understanding when it comes to both new and familiar words. Simply introduce this 4-point vocabulary knowledge scale with your students, and ask them to record and rate their understanding of each new vocabulary word using the scale BEFORE you begin your unit or new text. Then, revisit it again at the end of the unit, allowing students to update their rating. My students love rating their own knowledge as they progress through the unit (we hold up fingers to share our understanding with the group) and seeing their understanding of words grow and develop as they continue to work with the same text and words over the course of a unit.