How Do I Introduce New Vocabulary on Trading Cards?

How Do I Introduce New Vocabulary on Trading Cards?  Try Using a Cognitive Content Dictionary (CCD)


Trading Cards are a great way for students to learn and practice new vocabulary. The picture on the front, along with all of the information on the back of the card can help students make connections to the word to remember it even better. As an elementary school teacher I found it was helpful for me to introduce the new vocabulary that would be on the trading cards before I passed them out to my students. Below, is an excerpt from my free Educational Trading Card Manual on how I would do that.


In his article 6 Steps to Better Vocabulary Instruction” the first thing that Robert Marzano suggests is to “Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term.” One way to do this is to use the information on the back of the trading cards to fill out a CCD (Cognitive Content Dictionary) with your class. This is a powerful GLAD strategy that involves filling out a chart WITH your students that you can leave hanging on your wall as a reference.


Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Write the new word on the chart in front of your students.
  2. Have them discuss what they think it means and share their predictions. Record them on the chart.
  3. Provide the actual definition of word.
  4. Draw a quick sketch to help students remember the word’s meaning.
  5. Have students work together to orally use the word in a sentence and then share it with the class.

Cognitive Content Dictionary

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