4 Square Vocabulary or Vocabulary Four Square

By: Sandra Yip

What is it?

The 4 Square Vocabulary is a SDAIE strategy that helps develop and increase the student's knowledge of vocabulary through personal connections with the words. A piece of paper divided into four parts(squares) and each square contains either the synonym and/or antonym, the definition of the word, a picture representation of the word, or a sentence containing the word. In the middle of the paper a circle would be drawn in and it contains the vocabulary word.

When do we use it?

This strategy is used after reading. It can be used for all subjects to help teach the vocabulary that is unique to their content.

Why we use it?

The Four Square Vocabulary strategy helps students develop a better understanding of vocabulary words by providing a graphic organizer or visual representation of the vocabulary word and its concept. It assists students understanding of new concepts by having the student make a personal association with the word. It also targets several different learning styles. This can also be used as a type of assessment to see whether the student has gain a full understanding of the word.


1) Fold a piece of paper into fours.
2) Draw a circle in the middle and write the vocabulary word inside the circle.
3) On the top left square, write the definition as well as your own definition of the word.
4) On the top right square, write a sentence containing the word.
5) On the bottom right square,draw a picture that represents the vocabulary word.
6) On the bottom left square, write the synonym and antonym of the word.

4 Square Vocabulary Chart