In an effort to build vocabulary in the classroom, we do an activity called "My Wondrous Words". Each week we learn some new vocabulary words. We do a variety of activities as we learn the new words. One activity we do regularly is the "My Wondrous Words" book. After learning a new word or words, my students fill out a page for their book. Each page says, "My wondrous word is _________." Then they use the word in a sentence and draw an illustration to go along with the sentence. They add the pages to their book. At the end of the year they will have an entire book of wondrous vocabulary words that they learned. (They will also be able to see how their writing improved.)
Building vocabulary is very important to developing reading skills. Here is a great article about building vocabulary. Just click here to read the article.