Word Association: An ESL Vocabulary Activity

ESL vocabulary activity

Skills: Reading/writing/speaking

Age: 7+ (must be able to read + write)

Materials Required: Workbook or butcher paper and pens

Word Association is an ESL vocabulary activity that can be used to introduce a new topic, lesson, theme, etc. You have to write a single relevant word in the middle of the board or paper and have students take turns adding as many words or images related to that word as possible. For large classes, have students work in groups with separate pieces of paper taped to the wall or the top of the table/ grouped desks. After a given amount of time (3-5 minutes, or when you see no one is adding anything new), discuss their answers.

Teaching Tips:

For large classes, butcher paper works best, so more students can write at one time. If that isn’t possible, have 5-6 board markers available.

If using butcher paper, prepare in advance, including taping to the wall, unless students will be working at their desks. If students will be working at their desks, write the word on each table’s page in advance, but don’t hand them out until you have given your instructions.

Procedure:

1. Write a single word relevant to your new topic, lesson, or theme on the white board or butcher paper.

2. Have students take turns adding as many words or images related to that word as possible.

3. After 3-5 minutes (or less, if no one is adding anything new), discuss their answers.

Like this ESL vocabulary activity? It’s from this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Kids (7+). There are 38 more ESL warm-ups for children-get your English classes started off in style.

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  1. Pingback: ESL Vocabulary Activities for Adults - ESL Activities: Saving YOU Time, Guaranteed

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