'Mystery Word' Vocabulary Slideshows

David Lord's picture
Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Oregon Common Core State Standards: 
Lesson Plan Details
2 class periods
Using presentation software, like Keynote or Powerpoint, students will use vocabulary clues found in the Frayer Model to create a computer slideshow presentation. By viewing the slideshow, students get to play a guessing game to determine the meaning of a vocabulary word.
iPad/MacBook/laptop/PC/desktop computer running Keynote, Powerpoint, or Google Presentation

Prior to instruction, the teacher needs to make sure students have access to devices with presentation software loaded. Having devices that are portable or easily moved is helpful when it comes time to share presentations. Teachers should have specific vocabulary words for student use as well as a working understanding of the components of the Frayer Vocabulary Model. While providing access to something like dictionary.com, or other online dictionary, is helpful, it is not necessary.


Prior to the lesson, complete vocabulary instruction with your students with somewhere around 5 - 10 words using the Frayer Model as a structure. In this lesson, students will apply content developed in a Frayer Model with presentation software. It is helpful to assign individuals or small groups of students a specific word in a discrete way to ensure all of your words are being covered across the classroom. Having small groups all focus on one word 'secretly'(while the classroom peers do the same thing with a different word)within a collaborative structure can be helpful for skill and knowledge transfer. Here's a suggested format for a student "Mystery Word Slideshow" (Please refer to the attached pdf of a Keynote version): Slide 1 - Title Slide Slide 2 - List all of the vocabulary words that a student could guess from. Slide 3 - Focus on the Mystery Word itself WITHOUT typing in the actual word. Write in the definition, the part of speech, an example, a non-example, and any relative forms or derivatives. Slide 4 - Write a meaningful sentence with the Mystery Word blanked out as in a cloze passage. Be sure the sentence includes relevant context clues connected to the Mystery Word. Slide 5 - Relist all the vocabulary list to remind the reader of which words they can choose from in which to guess the 'Mystery Word'. Slide 6 - (Optional) Depending on the skill set of the student(s)and sophistication of the software, insert a movie of the word being acted out, still images to offer clues, or something akin to a Puppet Pals skit to enhance the knowledge base of the reader. Slide 7 - Reveal the Mystery Word. Slide 8 - If appropriate, include a list of sources for things like images or other content. Once all of the slides are completed, ask students to enhance their presentations by creating transitions, effects, or 'builds'. After all of the prep. work is complete, it's time to "publish" or share work. Here's some suggested formats that seem to have worked. If your students have handheld portable devices, when complete, ask the class to mingle/pair up, and view each others' slideshows. Rotate, and complete again. Or, if your students have laptops, perhaps the students move while the devices stay put. And, if using desktop machines, individual slideshows could be projected, or students could rotate to them as well. Another possible way to publish would be to convert the file to a movie with something like QuickTime. In doing so, students could narrate their work and be able to post it on a website.


Creation of the slideshow serves as the assessment. Depending on the quality &/or sophistication of their work, grades are issued accordingly. Students can email their projects to an online location such as Dropbox or Evernote for review.

Oregon Educational Technology Standards
Creativity and Innovation: 
1B. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
Communication and Collaboration: 
2A. Interact and collaborate with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
2B. Effectively communicate and publish to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
Research and Information Fluency: 
3B. Locate, organize and use information ethically from a variety of sources and media.
3C. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making: 
4B. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
Digital Citizenship: 
5A. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and digital technology.
5B. Model and practice a positive attitude toward using digital technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
Technology Operations and Concepts: 
6B. Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.
Career Related Learning Standards
Personal Management: 
CR2A. Plan, organize, and complete projects and assigned tasks on time, meeting agreed upon standards of quality.
Problem Solving: 
CR2A. Identify problems and locate information that may lead to solutions.
CR3A. Locate, process, and convey information using traditional and technological tools.
CR3B. Listen attentively and summarize key elements of verbal and non-verbal communication.
CR3C Give and receive feedback in a positive manner.
Employment Foundations: 
CR5B. Select, apply, and maintain tools and technologies appropriate for the workplace.