Eliciting vocabulary before writing narratives

This is an idea to help students with their writing of narratives. It gives all the students some essential (and some superfluous) vocabulary.

Brian Fowlis


Play a game of word association.

  • The teacher gives one word and the student on the left must say the first word they can think of which is associated with it.
  • Then the student on their left says the first word which they can think of which is associated with the previous word.
  • This can be repeated around the class a few times.
  • The teacher writes all the words on the board as they appear.

Eventually you should have a variety 20 or 30 words on the board, for example: tree, forest, countryside, city, buildings, offices, work, leisure, holidays, beach, sun, moon, night, dark, black, cats, dogs, friendship, etc.

  • The teacher then gives the students the first line of the story using some of the vocabulary on the board, for example: I'll never forget the night I fell asleep on the beach while I was on holiday in a strange city.
  • The students (individually or in pairs) continue the story, drawing on the vocabulary on the board for ideas.
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