10 Fantastic Free Resources for Teaching Vocabulary

10 Fantastic Free Resources for Customizing Vocabulary Work

Do you need to have lots of resources to teach and maintain new skills? We are familiar with using picture task cards, games, and activities to teach new vocabulary.  Yet, what about using online resources?  Kids love to use fun online games. They are also great for homework and reviewing skills throughout the year. 

It is good practice to explain any new words you encounter.  This ensures comprehension.  Still, it is important to also target specific, functional words. Then,  review them all year long in many different activities. Without this, special needs students are likely to forget the new words.  How can we manage to keep practicing enough?

free, resource links, speech therapy, vocabulary


Choosing the Words to Teach

When choosing the vocabulary to target for students each year, there are some factors to consider.

  • Preschool students always need to learn new words in basic categories and for seasonal events.
  • Life skill students need: 
    • themes addressed by the special education teacher that year.
    • vocabulary related to specific job skills (if the students will have work programs.)
    • the vocabulary they need for daily life routines.
  • Older, low functioning students who are still being tested academically need vocabulary that can be :
    • addressed all year long.
    • applied to varied stories, activities, and academic work over time..
    • related to the other speech/language goals for the year.

For example, try teaching words that get used in text books all year long.  Examples are cause-effect, problem-solution, fact-opinion, analyze, define, and summarize. Choose the words that tie in best with your speech/language goals for the year.

To target specific words,  it is very helpful to find sites that let you customize your word lists.  Try out some of my favorite sites!

Using A Vocabulary Organizer

Research supports the development of deeper word knowledge using many word associations. An easy way to help do this is to use a vocabulary organizer. Get yours for free! Then be sure to use the same vocabulary words in lots of fun activities!

Vocabulary Organizer Freebie

Build deeper word meanings!

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Online Resource Links

These sites have easy to download pictures. If you are doing teletherapy, they can be displayed on your screen. Then try these activities:

  • ask questions and have the student name the picture in answer.
  • describe one of the pictures and see if your student can identify it. Then reverse roles.
  • compare and contrast two of the pictures.
  • use each word in a sentence with their syntax goal.
  • use a carrier phrase with the speech sound they are working on with each picture.
  • tell 4 things about each picture.
  • be creative!

Free Picture Cards

Boggles World ESL Flashcards

ESL Kids Lab Flashcards

ESL Games Plus



Free Games and PowerPoints to Customize

Ed Games PowerPoint

Class Tools



Free Worksheets to Customize

The Teachers Corner Worksheets

Tools for Educators

Discovery Education Puzzlemaker

There are so many good vocabulary resources available online. Did I miss your favorite? Please share in the comments. 


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I’m Linda, an SLP who loves helping you build effective communication skills for your students using strategies and visuals. Pictures are time consuming, so let me make your life easier!

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