Learning vocabulary

Learning vocabulary

Teaching tip

Words, words, words. We want our students to learn vocabulary as painlessly as possible – try these five different activities and see how learning those new words can be something to enjoy.



Mime it
Write out the vocabulary words: one word on a separate slip of paper. Give one slip of paper to each student and keep one for yourself. (If there are more students than words just repeat the words accordingly.) Model the activity: mime your word! So if you have ‘pencil’ for example, you could act out sharpening it and then writing with it. Tell the class to guess your word. Ask each student in turn to mime their words and ask the other students to guess the word.

Stick it
Take in some Post-it notes to revise some of the names for things in the classroom. On each Post-it note write a classroom word and now stick the Post-its on objects around the classroom – but make sure they are on the WRONG object. The task is for the students to stick the labels on the correct objects.

All stand up
Revise word groups in in a playful way. Divide the class into four groups for example Fruits, Foods, Drinks and Sports. Read out a list of words containing the same number of words for each category and when one of the words, apples for example, is called out everyone in the Fruits group should stand up.

Wheel of fortune
Write the words in a big circle on the board. Students choose two words on opposite sides of the circle and try to make a sentence using both words.

Gap fill

Encourage the students to write gap fill sentences for each other. Give each student one word and ask them to write a sentence that can only be completed by the given word.

For example: repeat

Can you _______ that, please? I didn’t hear you.

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