Vocabulators - Up Close!

Once of my posts that has had the most views and comments is my post on the Vocabulators I made for my classroom. (My Vocabulators post)  I have also gotten quite a few questions about them...and after a recent panic/question from my buddy Molly at Lessons with Laughter (don't cha just love the name of her blog?!) I realized my original picture may have been a little deceiving.......
so, thought I would go into it a little more detail about them.  I got the idea for the Vocabulators and the containers from a Melissa Forney workshop I went to.  Wonderful!  The containers are quite large.

Like a little over 11 inches and about 4 inches wide.  (sorry Molly, they don't look that big in the original pic)  That's ALOT of rice!!!  I bought the huge cheap bags at Walmart.  I didn't fill them all the way to the top.  There needs to be room so the kids can shake the words around.  I've posted about how to dye the rice but also wanted to show/tell you about some other yummies I added to them.  So here are some close ups of a few of them:

This vocabulator is a Florida theme.......it has words of all kinds of things you would find in Florida (because I live here of course), there are also little confetti suns, little button sunglasses, and then little animals and tourists you would see in Florida.

Michaels has tubes of plastic animals with different themes: ocean, penguins, desert........so they are great to use in the vocabulators....especially because they are so big!  All the confetti I got from LTM Party store.  They have confetti in almost every color and shape and it's a quick, colorful, cute addition to the vocabulators!

This vocabulator is filled with words to use other than happy (which the kiddos totally over use).  Other than the words, this one has daisy and smiley face confetti.  The big daisy heads were poppers that I took the bottom off of.  Anything to add fun and color to them:)

This vocabulator was another themed one.  Yep, you guessed it.....ocean theme....blue water(rice), little confetti fish, the words, and the little plastic animal ocean tube creatures.  That tube had fish and coral, a diver, octopus.....all kinds of goodies:)

This vocabulator was words to use instead of cold.  It was also filled with little snowflake buttons (there are 2 in the pic but they are upside down), penguins (Michaels tube), some fun big clear jewels from the Dollar Tree (you can't see those in the pic), and then I used some kind of florist bead filler stuff, also from Michaels.  Fun to look at because it looks like little ice cubes but not nearly as cheap as the rice!!  Remember, if you get the containers from Melissa Forney, which are wonderful, they are HUGE!

The last one I wanted to show you is all color words.  Great descriptive words that stretch the kids instead of just the regular red, blue, yellow.............and as you can see, I filled this one with gumballs from the Dollar Tree.  Kinda different, fun, and cheap!!

I hope this little blurb helps answer some questions and inspires you to make some for your classroom.  This would be a fun summer project!!  The planning and collecting all the things for inside each one is the fun part!!!

I'm not sure if I will post again before Easter.  My girl is coming home tomorrow after her Dr. appointment.  Praying that her shoulder is just irritated and not torn.........she's bringing home her quad mate who is from Trinidad and a total doll!  So, if I don't post again before Easter, I hope you all have a wonderful relaxing weekend and a very blessed Easter filled with love and family!!


  1. I love those!!!! What a great idea & they could also be incorporated into a writing workshop...COOL BEANS! (or RICE)!

    Have a WONDERFUL Easter weekend!!


    The 3AM Teacher

  2. Those are so cool! thanks for explaining them!

    Ms. Rachel’s Room

  3. Love the themes - the gumball one is so cute!
    Happy Easter - enjoy your daughter (and her friend)!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. Great idea! Thanks for going into detail and the close up pics, they really help! Hope your daughter is doing well...Happy Easter!

    One Teacher's Take

  5. Catching up on my Google Reader over Spring Break and I'm SOOO glad I found this post! This is such a great idea!

    Go Fourth! With Mrs. Owens

  6. One more thing I'll need to do over my summer break. Gee, thanks, Tara! LOL :) In all seriousness, I love the idea. I'm thinking about one for words to use instead of "said". Do your kiddos freely use these tools in Writer's Workshop, or do you have a specific activity you do with them?

    Mr. B's Beach Brains

  7. I love these!!!! They're so great for content areas & themes. Will def. be making some next year if I move down the 5th! Where do you buy all the little trinkets?

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  8. YOU'RE IT...You've been tagged. Head over to my blog to find why and what you need to do next.

  9. Tara- I tagged you too! Head over to my blog to play.

  10. Thought of you and this post this week when I was shopping. I kept looking at containers and how they would be PERFECT for this :) They had tons, by the way.

    Also-fingers crossed that you win the lapbook :)


    Fun in Room 4B

  11. I love these! I am going to have to check out the site you talked about!

    And I guess I'm a little late to the tagging game cause...you have been tagged! Come on over to my blog to check out what to do next!

    The Polka-dotted Teacher

  12. I adore these! I am having tons of brain pops right now!

    Heather's Heart

  13. Tag! You're it! Come over to my blog to get the details.


  14. Tara,
    Thanks for joining my linky! I am glad to have you along for the ride! I love your Vocabulator idea, but would love more info on how you use them in your classroom.
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie
    Find me on Facebook!

  15. This is one of the most amazing discoveries I've come across, and I find some goooood things!

  16. Hello, Is there any way you could email me the lists of words that you used in yours? I also got the clean containers from Walmart and they work great :) Thank you!! my email is sspain@mcps.k12.va.us.

  17. I made one of these this weekend with a space theme, but my words keep trying to stick together even though I put them all in a different levels of the rice. Do you have this problem? I put mine in empty soda bottles. Could that be the problem? It's like they have a case of static cling! Haha

  18. Hi! I am a brand new teacher who was hired on Monday to teach 4th grade :) Ive been scouring the internet all week for ideas for my new classroom and love this! Do you have a printable word list by any chance? I've bookmarked your page! I can't wait to try this! My email address is:


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