Vocabulary Worksheets:
Link Reading to Practice 

Although they can save prep time, vocabulary worksheets are not the best way to teach vocabulary-- by themselves. However, they can be a useful part of an integrated vocabulary lesson. Reading or hearing a newly-learned word several times and using it in various ways helps a student retain the word. 

That’s the reason the worksheets on EnglishHints.com almost always include links to reading and/or listening activities and often discussion ideas and games as well as practice using the new words.

Jump Directly to the Worksheet Packets

Academic Vocabulary Worksheets-- with a picture of Sherlock Holmes, part of a success vocabulary crossword, & part of a worksheet with comprehensions.
text: 'Follow the ord clues!'

The next few paragraphs explain the rationale of these vocabulary worksheets. If you would prefer to go directly to the worksheets, here are the links:

The Scientific Method (free)

Words for Success

Basic Academic Vocabulary and Teach English with Spanish-English Cognates are now on their own pages, unlike the pdfs above, which are on this page.

 About These Vocabulary Worksheets & Integrated Practice

The academic English vocabulary worksheets on this page (as well as the Basic Academic Vocabulary pdf) are designed for middle-school through adult intermediate ESL students, though many high beginners (or native speakers) could use them. There are also some advanced vocabulary worksheets on Free Printable Worksheets.

The biggest difference between the intermediate worksheets on this page and the advanced ones on the Free Printable Worksheets page is the amount of vocabulary practiced on a page.

The advanced worksheets also include some less common upper level Academic Word List vocabulary, while all the vocabulary practiced on these worksheets is very important for students to understand.

A major advantage for teachers is that these packets already include reading and often writing activities for integrated skills practice. This may be especially valuable if you don’t have access to a good textbook or many supplementary materials.

A variety of activities and games suggested also allows you to differentiate instruction, providing a review for your quicker or more fluent students and more practice to students who need it.

These vocabulary worksheets are arranged so that later worksheets in the pdf review earlier vocabulary. Most worksheets teach ten to fourteen Tier 2 academic word families (evaluate, evaluation, etc.) each, along with some occasional related vocabulary students likely already recognize.

The Academic Vocabulary Used

For these vocabulary worksheets and also the practice activities in Basic Academic Vocabulary (& all the practice on EnglishHints), I emphasized words from the early levels of Coxhead’s Academic Vocabulary List (AWL) along with vocabulary lists from Marzano Research, Berkeley Unified School District, and several experienced teachers. (There's a great deal of agreement and overlap between them.)

These are the words students must have in order to understand, discuss, and write about common classroom and working world topics (as well as for standardized tests students will need to take.) 

The vocabulary ranges from basic words like achieve, establish, and identify to harder words like bias, criteria, priority, target, etc. Every worksheet has multiple ways to practice the essential words it teaches, along with ideas for presentation, classroom games, and assessment. 

You will need Adobe or another pdf reader to read these pdfs. If you do not have Adobe Reader you can download it, free, here.

The Scientific Method Packet (Free)

cover of Scientific Method packet: silhouette of a scientist looking through a microscope.

This simple explanation of science vocabulary and the scientific method will help your students recognize important academic vocabulary and understand science and psychology news and research.

The free packet includes:

• Explanations and examples of vocabulary: bias, data, evaluate, factor, valid, and variable (with its variations)

• A one-page explanation of the scientific method demonstrating those words and adding more vocabulary in context: conclusion, evidence, hypothesis, implications, interpret, relevant, and reproducible

• A five-question multiple choice quiz based on that information and its answer key

This packet is designed as a reading activity and discussion starter. Ask students for their experiences doing experiments and solving problems.

Did they follow a similar procedure? What did they do differently? What were their results? What steps do they consider the most important?

The quiz makes a good short review (or warm-up) for later in the week.

Here's the TPT page on my EnglishHints' store to download the Scientific Method Packet for free.

Goals & Vocabulary for Success

cover for the "Goals & Vocabulary for Success" worksheet packet, with pictures of a trophy & a blue ribbon.

3-5 days' worth of lessons on goal-setting, goal and achievement vocabulary, and integrated reading (and possibly listening/watching), discussion, and writing about success, failure, and what's most important in life.

16 pages of differentiated goal-setting and vocabulary activities and games, comprehension questions, and writing and discussion prompts (besides the cover and 4 answer keys.)

The suggested readings (linked) are commencement addresses discussing the meaning of success and the value of initial failure. The key address is in clear. simple language.

This pdf also includes scaffolding, with explanation of potentially difficult expressions and idioms, for the optional secondary addresses (only suggested for higher level students.)

You can check out the online version of much of this content at Reading Comprehension Questions and the linked pages at the bottom of that page.

Well-practiced academic vocabulary includesaccomplish, achieve, attain, attitude, benefit, criteria, emphasize, energy, establish, factors, financial, focus, goal, identify, objective, priority, resolution, security, specific, success, target.

some sample pages from Goals & Vocabulary for Success

Contents (in Lesson Order)   

• Teaching notes including timing,  vocabulary, differentiation, lesson  suggestions and links, and possible discussion or writing prompts: pg. 3-7

• Vocabulary  Notebook  template (optional—or use your own system) pg. 8

• Vocabulary for Achievement:  

      >Example Sentences pg. 9

      >Practice Activities (Odd One Out, Matching, and Gap-fill) pg. 10

      >Answer key pg. 11

• Words for Success  pg. 12

• Answer key pg. 13

• Short video talking about some famous people who failed before they succeeded (link pg. 5)

• Review Crossword on Success pg. 14

• Success Vocabulary Crossword answer key pg.15

• Marc Lewis Commencement Address (link & discussion pg. 6)

• Comprehension Questions pg. 16-17

• Answer key pg. 18

• Optional follow-up for high-Intermediate or advanced ESL classes (or junior or senior English classes): -links pg. 7)

• Learning from Failure: quotes from J.K. Rowling and Steve Jobs to discuss- pg. 19

• parts or all of Steve Jobs’ and J.K. Rowling’s commencement addresses (both with video and transcript.) links pg. 7

• Explanation of idioms and expressions in Jobs’s speech pg. 20-21

• class discussion or writing prompts pg. 7

• credits pg. 22

Read Teacher Reviews or Buy This Lesson Packet

You can read reviews by other teachers who have tried it at this page on the EnglishHints store on Teachers Pay Teachers, then get Goals & Vocabulary for Success at that link for $6.00.

Contact Me Directly:

I’d like to hear if you have any problems or ideas for improvements (or useful future worksheets.)

I would love to hear if you find these vocabulary worksheets useful (especially if you are willing for me to post your comments with your first name here as a ‘testimonial’-- or with suggestions of the way your class has used them.) 

Questions or comments? Let me know!

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

See Reading Comprehension Lesson Plans for Word Detectives and the Word Detective bundle, which both teach a lot of academic vocabulary as well as reading skills and some roots and prefixes.

We also offer root, prefix, and suffix practice at Suffix Worksheets. If you’re interested in online vocabulary practice, see Vocabulary Games and Activities.

Home > ESL Worksheets > Academic Vocabulary Worksheets.