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12 of the Best Free Vocabulary Resources for KS3 and KS4 English

Close the word gap and boost your secondary students' lexicons with these free activities, worksheets and posters...

  • 12 of the Best Free Vocabulary Resources for KS3 and KS4 English

1 | Baseline SPaG and vocab test


Author: Educated Minds with Ms Cole

This baseline SPaG test covers spelling, homophones, punctuation and prepositions, and features 32 slides.

Download this resource here.


2 | Graveyard of deceased vocabulary


Author: Laura Holder

This vocabulary display includes

  • A sign for your vocabulary graveyard
  • 6 gravestones for ‘dead words’ to avoid using. The words are:
    • happy
    • sad
    • cold
    • hot
    • small
    • big
  • Accompanying bats for each gravestone with synonyms for each of the dead words

There is an editable version included to create your own, as well as a PDF version.

Download this resource here.


3 | Boggle vocab starter game


Author: Kat Howard

Using Boggle as inspiration, this can be used as a starter and linked to a key word within the learning objective of the lesson.

Students peer assess to check for spellings etc.

Download this resource here.


4 | Vocabulary Ninja’s vocabulary laboratory


Author: Vocabulary Ninja

The Vocabulary Laboratory resource is the perfect task to run alongside Word of the Day! Break down any word to its most essential elements. Perfect for exploring tense, word class, synonyms, antonyms and understanding! Just place your focus word in the central box and allow the Vocabulary Laboratory experiment to commence!

The resource contains A4 and double A5 versions for versatile use in school. And because the Ninja likes to spoil you, there is also an advanced version of the Vocabulary Laboratory sheet included. 3 resources in 1.

Download this resource here.


5 | Ambitious vocabulary intervention sessions


Author: Educated Minds with Ms Cole

This activity asks students to find more-adventurous synonyms for words like walked, bad, shout, scared, said and confused, as well as getting them to rewrite a paragraph by replacing these words.

As an extension, pupils can continue the story by using adventurous vocabulary.

Download this resource here.


6 | Vocabulary character posters for Macbeth


Author: Laura Holder

Character images (from the Patrick Stewart version) for Macbeth with high-level vocabulary for each.

Download this resource here.


7 | Building vocab templates


Author: Matt Grant

A small number of templates that can be used for teaching vocabulary – key words, concept words etc.

Download this resource here.


8 | Word square puzzles


Author: Vocabulary Ninja

Word Square Puzzles are great for flexing and building a pupils vocabulary repertoire. Use as a starter activity, extension, challenge, SPaG, homework or just for fun!

Each square has a target word made up off all of the letters within the square, but how many words in total can pupils generate from the letters within!

Download this resource here.


9 | More word square puzzles


Author: Vocabulary Ninja

If you loved the Word Square Puzzles resource from Vocabulary Ninja above, here are more. That’s it.

Download this resource here.


10 | Spice up Little Red Riding Hood


Author: Educated Minds with Ms Cole

This simple activity asks students to find more-creative synonyms for typical words found in the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, such as alone, big, brave, dark, go, went and scared.

Download this resource here.


11 | Character vocabulary posters for A Christmas Carol


Author: Laura Holder

An image for each main character (from the modern Disney adaptation) in A Christmas Carol with a range of high-level vocabulary on each.

Download this resource here.


12 | Verbs for analysis


Author: Daniel Ingman

This is an analytical word bank to aid students’ spoken and written analysis of language and literature.

It includes differentiated lists for Key Stage 3 groups, and definitions of more unusual words with examples of them in use.

There are also lists of modal verbs and modifiers which are useful for discussion and analysis, often in conjunction with analytical verbs.

Download this resource here.

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