January Vocabulary Activities


January Vocabulary Emergent Reader

My Ah-ha Moment

I was so excited about when the ELL teacher told me what one of my ELL students said to her in group time. She came to me and asked, “Pam, what in the  world did you say to Juan!” “He told me that he wanted to be “positive” Juan in the “New Year” and have a good “attitude.”  I was thrilled to tell her he was using words from our January Vocabulary Calendar. This was my ah-ha moment! I realized that my student was applying what he had learned earlier with me.

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Role Play

I did some role play in my classroom about being negative and crying, saying things like,”I don’t want to do that, It is too hard, I don’t like it” Then I showed them what being positive looked like, “I am going to do my best, I can do this” I told them that it also helped their friends when they were positive to them: like smiling at them and encouraging them when they were having a difficult time. Juan was having a difficult time at the beginning of the school year. He was crying and he didn’t want to be in school. After this time of role play, he announced that he wanted to be Positive Juan” and do his best!
I was so happy to see him change his attitude. I loved how he actually was applying the vocabulary he had learned. This was a great example of the power of words.

Check out all the reviews for this calendar here:

January Vocabulary Calendar

Student Writing

My students have shown great progress in their writing because they use this vocabulary from our calendars. The weekly themes give them a bank of words  that helps them keep on topic. The student writing I see shows me that they have confidence when they write now. They circle the thematic  words from the calendar. These words also help my English Language Learners because they can make the connections with these words.

Student Writing using January Vocabulary


Student Writing

Journal Writing

After my students complete their own calendars, they write about the word for the day. I also let them share their journal writing with a friend. They love sharing them! This makes a great literacy center and does not require a lot of preparation from me.

Read more about journals here.

January Cut and Paste Activities

I like using these January cut and paste activities for a center. I introduce how to complete the sheets in my guided reading groups, then my students will work on them in a center. We created these sheets to cover multiple literacy objectives. The activities cover our calendar words, sight words and phonics.  I like to use the snowball sheets to discuss correct word order in a sentence. I remind the students that a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends in a punctuation mark. These sheets have periods, question marks and exclamation marks. My students like to call them the”excited marks.” We have also included a critical thinking question at the end of each sheet. I have used their answers to create class books.

Check out what others are saying here:

January Cut and Paste

January Vocabulary Emergent Readers

I also reinforce these words when my students read our January Vocabulary Emergent Readers. The books are thematic and go with the January calendar. The books include: New Year, Martin Luther King Jr., Winter Weather and Arctic Region. Each book is also a song and includes comprehension questions in the back. There is a single page that I like to use in the students’ poetry/song notebooks. I make a poster out of it with the poster maker and the kids highlight the words we are studying for the week. There is a color copy and a black and white copy, as well as a teacher’s guide on different ways to use the empty boxes. I use these emergent readers in my guided reading groups to review the words as well as teach the phonetic features of the words. In the example below, my students wrote words with the sp blend like in speech. 

Read more about these books here as well as see video testimonies.

January Vocabulary Emergent Readers

January Vocabulary Brain Bounce

We also have a fun game to review this January vocabulary called January Brain Bounce. The class is divided into two teams and they take turns answering the questions about the words. We have also included a teacher’s guide with more ideas on how to use the cards. If your students are reading well, you could use the cards for Scoot because we have included a recording sheet. One teacher told me that she ran the cards off in black and white and placed them at tables for the students to discuss.
This is my awesome ELL teacher! She is asking one of her ELL students a question from our bounce game. She said that these Word of the Day products have helped her students to understand content area vocabulary. We let them answer into a microphone and they loved it!
We have also used these cards as a read around the room activity.
See the reviews for this fun and engaging game here:
January Vocabulary Game

Sight Word Center

One of my students’ favorite center is this sight word center because they like building the words and trying to be the first one at their table to finish. I put 5 words and the letter manipulatives for those words in baggies. Each student gets a baggie. When they all finish they switch baggies. When a student finishes building all their words, they create new words with the letters they have. They like to write the words on white boards using the dry erase markers. That is always fun for them and it encourages them to think of new words with the letters.

See comments here:

Penguin Sight Word Center

If you want a free snowman math activity check here:

January Vocabulary Memory Game

The last center that I want to discuss with you is our January Vocabulary Memory Game. The kids love this because of the real photos. The pictures also help them make connections to the words that we have been studying. We have also included just the words for your more advanced students. So, you can match picture to picture or picture to word or word to word.

See comments about this game here:

January Memory Card Game

We hope that you will try some or all of these January Vocabulary  activities and that your students will learn great content vocabulary. We also hope that   these words will give them confidence in their writings just like they have with my students.

Want Concrete Steps to Help You Master Student Literacy in 15 Minutes a Day? CLICK HERE NOW!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog! We would love for you to share this post so other teachers can see the power of words.




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3 thoughts on “January Vocabulary Activities”

  1. I love this! What a great idea to help build their vocabulary! Im going to go check out your calendar right now! This might be exactly what my ELLs need!! Thanks :)!!!

  2. Thank you so much! I hope that your kiddos will learn a lot of great vocabulary with them! We would love to hear how they did with them:)
    Thank you for your kind comments!

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