A fun way to learn vocabulary is to review homophones, or words with multiple meanings. Starting in second grade, teachers will begin to introduce words with multiple meanings. Go through each word, such as bat or ball, and discuss all the various meanings of the word. Have students make sentences with the word, with its various meanings. While reading, have students discuss what they think the meaning of a word is based on the contextual cues. Here is a list of common words with multiple meanings that students will encounter in elementary school. There are also great activities and worksheets that you can use here!
It is not realistic to directly address all vocabulary words that students have difficulty with. Focusing on strategies, including learning the meaning of common prefixes and suffixes, is an excellent way to empower students to figure out word meaning. In therapy, we will discuss common prefixes and suffixes of the student’s grade level, or reading level, if that is more appropriate. We will talk about common words with that prefix or suffix. As homework assignments, I may have the student look for words in reading materials with the prefix and suffix that we worked on, and have them try to figure out the word meaning based on their knowledge of the prefix or suffix. In my observation, students really enjoy learning these strategies because they feel like they are solving a mini mystery and they feel empowered. Here is a the best list that I have found for prefixes and suffixes, based on grade level.