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SAT or Foreign Language Vocabulary Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-VOC0200
Submitted by: Wendy Sheeran
Email: wendymac@pmsd.org
School/University/Affiliation: Pocono Mountain Senior High School

February 16, 2001

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Language Arts/Vocabulary
  • Foreign Language/Vocabulary

Duration: 30-40 minutes

Description: Students work in small groups to create a restaurant menu using SAT vocabulary words (a minimum of 20 from a cumulative list). Each meal description must give the reader a clue to the word’s definition. [Example: Disdainful Veggies — Filled with contempt because they have no rights. Sure, refuse to eat meat, but keep eating veggies? Carrots have feelings too!] This lesson can also be adapted by Foreign Language teachers to assist students with learning new vocabulary words.


  • To increase vocabulary recall, synthesis, and knowledge.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to work cooperatively in groups.
  • To provide an alternative to the repetitive and boring nature of learning new vocabulary words.
  • Objectives: .

  • Students will be able to work cooperatively in groups to create a restaurant menu which accurately depicts the definitions of the given vocabulary words.
  • Students will be able to connect seldom-used or seldom-heard vocabulary words to an everyday event or item.
  • Materials:

    • Barron’s SAT preparation book with word list (or SAT vocabulary list)
    • dictionaries
    • paper/pencils
    • construction paper
    • markers/colored pencils
    • Rubric
    • Rubric in .pdf format; requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

      Click the icon to obtain the free Reader.

    Divide students into groups of 3-4. Explain that each student will have a specific role in his/her group. List the three roles on the board (Comment Recorder(s), Task Leader, and Presenter). Hand out a copy of the rubric, which lists the descriptions of the roles, and assign a role to each student. Remind the class that although each student has a specific job, everyone in the group must actively participate in the creation of the menu items and descriptions. All students will be held accountable for the correctness of definitions paired with menu items.

    After checking for students’ understanding of expectations (20 words, 30 minutes, clues or definitions in the description of menu items, menu format, a colorful and creative cover), students can begin working on their menus. During this process, the Task Leader will encourage discussion about the vocabulary words, along with researching definitions. The Comment Recorder will write down group members’ ideas and suggestions for the menu. The Presenter will share the group’s menu at the end of class.

    Optional: At the end of class, students choose three words that they found most interesting on their menu. Incorporate these words into a vocabulary quiz for the next day’s class. Assessment: Collect students’ menus, and use the rubric to evaluate them. Provide each group with a score. Teachers may want to construct a vocabulary quiz, or another project as determined by the students and the teacher, based on students’ strengths and weaknesses.

    Special Comments: In an anchoring activity, students could look up the words in a previous class or use this activity as a review with words they have difficulty remembering. Students who finish early can look up one synonym for each of their words in a thesaurus and incorporate those words into the menu.

    Useful Internet Resources:
    * SAT Vocabulary Word Lists
    Includes 10 word lists with 100 words each.

    * Discovery Schools’ Worksheets to Go – English
    Scroll down the page for Vocabulary/Spelling worksheets.