Vocabulary categories activity

Vocabulary categories

The Goal of the activity is to help students organize the vocabulary items they have learned and see the relationship between them. It also tries to transfer newly acquired vocabulary from short-term to long-term memory by successfully remembering an item and labeling the category it belongs to.

The activity

First work with the students orally to retrieve the items they have learned. Give them examples and they have to give the categories they belong to or vice versa. For example, you say bananas and they have to say fruits… Then students work in groups of four or five:

  • Hand out a piece of paper where five columns are labeled with the names of lexical categories such as food, transport, clothes, animals and sport.
  • Call out a category.
  • Learners¬† have three minutes to write down as many words they know belonging to that category.
  • The group with the longest list of words win. You may tolerate misspelling.

Follow up

Give five words from two or more categories and ask students to write a paragraph.

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