Students learn new words best when they encounter them in multiple contexts, use them frequently, explore their meanings, and experiment with using their derivations.
When I introduced vocabulary, I gave the students an opportunity to pre-assess themselves on the new words using a chart I made specifically for the unit. Doing so allowed them to see more clearly what they needed to learn, and it allowed me to plan ahead and differentiate vocabulary instruction as needed.
In my classes, students routinely made "Fancy Frayer Models," an adaption of the typical Frayer Model. I encouraged them to choose one of the words from the list that they did not know very well. Then they looked up the word on vocabulary.com, my favorite vocabulary resource, to learn not just the word's denotation, but to understand it fully.
Click the links below for free downloads
Sample New Vocabulary Chart (this one includes content-specific vocabulary for rhetorical devices)