Vocabulary lesson: Money

The lesson aims to raise students' awareness of verbs which collocate with ‘money' and give them practice of using them. and promote learner autonomy by encouraging the deduction of meaning of unknown lexis from context.

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  • Give the students the pictures (worksheet 1). Tell them that you are going to read a short description of two brothers, and that all the pictures are somehow connected to the description. Ask them in pairs to predict what they are going to hear about. Elicit ideas.
  • Read the text about John and his brother (worksheet 2) to the students and afterwards ask them to tell each other what the actual story was about.
  • Nominate students to tell the class about the significance of the pictures. E.g. "Who do you think the man in the first picture is?" "Why is there a picture of a casino?"
  • Read the story to the students again and this time ask them to note down the verbs that are used in the text that collocate with ‘money'. E.g. spend, save. Tell them that there are 15 verbs.
  • Ask them to compare their findings with a partner.
    Tip: They will probably not have been able to get all of the verbs after one listening.
  • Read the story one more time and ask students to check the verbs that they had heard and try to listen for more.
  • Ask them to compare answers again
  • Elicit verbs from students and reveal them on an overhead transparency with the past simple and past participle forms. (worksheet 3). Drill the pronunciation of the verbs, but don't get into the meaning of unknown vocabulary.
    Tip: Tell them that they are going to try to discover the meanings for themselves in the next activity. (You can give them their own copy if you like.)
  • Give the students a copy of the story (worksheet 2) and the matching exercise (worksheet 4). Ask the students to work individually and try to match the verbs with their definitions using the story as a context from which to deduce meaning.
  • Give the students a few minutes to check their answers in pairs and then check as a class.
    Tip: Ask concept questions to check understanding. E.g. "If I waste money on new shoes, do I really need the shoes?" "If you borrow money from somebody, is it yours or do you have to give it back?"
  • Give out the gap-fill exercise (worksheet 5), which students complete in pairs. Check as a class.
  • Divide the class into groups of 3-4 students.
    You can either
    • Give them the questions (worksheet 6) as prompts for discussion. Cut them up beforehand and ask them to look at one question at a time. Encourage students to ask further questions and not just give yes/no answers.
    • You could stick the individual questions on the walls around the classroom and ask the students to take it in turns to go up to a question, memorise it, come back to their group and dictate it to them (running dictation). Once all the questions have been written down, they can discuss their answers.
  • If you have time, you can have some class feedback: Students tell the class what the most interesting answers were in each group.


Written by Janet Shackleton, British Council Malaysia

This lesson was first published in June 2008

Average: 3.6 (288 votes)


olenka 1's picture
olenka 1

thank you for all these tips!they are extremely useful for me!

Francislene's picture

I've just used a substantial part of your lesson plan with some personal ideas and it was fantastic! I added a warmer by telling students I had won the lottery but the problem was the bank gave everything in foreign currencies (I used their own countries notes). I told them I had no idea how much those were worth inn Pounds. They were really happy to see something familiar to tll thought and sequenced and it has inspired me a lot for future lessons. My students benefitted a lot

Gulshan Huseynli's picture
Gulshan Huseynli

I have used it in my class. It was very interesting lesson followed by varioous activities. My students especially liked the matching  and discussion activity. They also learned new verbs that collacate with "money". As we are always using money in our daily life I think this very useful lesson.