Secret mission: to make it kinda fun
Method: write a haiku describing the vocab word without using the vocab word. Write your name and the word on the back.
Who is Chuck Norris?* [on the back: VIRILE: adj]
Big, buff, hairy chest--look out!
What a manly man!
The next day, all the kids put their haiku on the desks. Have the kids circulate, trying to guess the vocab word before flipping the paper over to confirm their guesses. Heck yeah, it's kinda fun, because 8th graders are hilarious. The kids see the same word three or four times, but each time it's framed in a new way. Painless studying! Bonus points for the teacher if she plays some ragtime as background music.
(*actual vocab haiku written today by one of my new Seminar kids, J.)