It generates lots of words and is a lot of fun. The categories can be changed to suit the level and learner.
Make a list of ten words for a number of categories depending on your learners' needs (do this alphabetically as it will be easier to scan for answers if using procedure 2).
Prepare an answer sheet for each group.
There is a worksheet below you can print out with example word lists and an answer sheet.
- Put the learners into teams and distribute the answer sheets.
- Explain to the learners that they have one minute to write down as many words as they can think of that relate to the category that you give them. They will receive one point for every word that is the same as yours and a bonus of five if they get all ten.
- Tell learners the name of the first category and set a time limit. After the time is up tell them to stop.
- Ask them to swap their answer sheets with another group so they can check each other's answers.
- Read out your answers. Learners listen and check each other's answers, then give the answer sheets back. You can be as strict as you like on the spelling.
- Ask students to tell you the scores and keep a record of these on the board.
- Repeat the procedure with different categories.
- Put the learners into teams.
- Explain to the learners that they have one minute to think of and say words related to a category that you give them.
- The teacher then selects a category and tells team A what it is.
- Team A then have one minute to shout out the words you have written on the list.
- The teacher says yes or no depending on whether they are on the list or not.
- Teams score one point for each word and a bonus of five if they get all ten.
- Select a different category for another team and repeat.
- The opposing teams could act as timekeepers and scorekeepers.
When the activity is over you could analyse the results and decide what lexical areas learners are strong in and what may need more work. You could also deal with any pronunciation areas that need work and any unfamiliar language that learners have been exposed to.
This activity was first published in 2008