For example, my 7th Grade Life Science students often have 4-square vocabulary for homework prior to the instruction of those concepts.
They are responsible for filling in the definition and picture/graphic with the help of the glossary and pictures in their textbook. I don't like for them to use the Internet or dictionaries for this because there are usually too many different definitions and pictures out there on the World Wide Web. The textbook streamlines that process. I supply them with the example and non-example during class and they fill them in. This way, they've already been exposed to the key words twice before I even explicitly teach it in context.
After all the vocabulary has been thoroughly taught, we play review games from my Vocabulary Review Games Packet.
Finally, we take an assessment. Half of it asks them to use the information from the 4-square examples, and half of it is matching the word to the definition.
I made a packet for the templates for the 4-square and vocabulary test. Click here to pick up a copy of my Vocabulary Instruction and Assessment Packet.
Do you do use explicit vocabulary instruction and review in all subjects? I'd love to learn some tricks from you!