For younger grades, I may have the objective of being able to verbally identify (or define) words from monthly themes. For example: September may be school items. At the beginning of the month, I will do a sort of a "pretest", using pictures from bingo games from Mayer Johnson's "Print 'n Play Games". During the month, we will read books and do various activities using those words. At the end of the month, the "post-test" will be done while playing the bingo game that goes along with the cards.
For older grades, I still may use thematic vocabulary. Linguisystems' Listening for Vocabulary All Year 'Round works very well. Although the description lists the ages as 5-8 or K-3rd grade, I find that it's more appropriate for the 3rd grade & up. I do have to modify it a bit for 4th & 5th graders so it won't seem so "babyish". Below is an example of September's vocabulary and the activity. (Sorry it's not a very good picture, but hopefully you can get the idea!)
Each month starts with a story using the vocabulary words. Before reading the story, I go over each word and we discuss it. As I read the story, I have the students find the card that goes with the word as it is read. There are activities that go along with the month.
(click on the picture to be taken to the site for information)
That's it in a nutshell! Don't forget to visit Speech Room News to get some great ideas!