New Words


Teaching a new language implies teaching new words. They have to be introduced and practiced in context.

These are some of my children's favorite activities that can be used with any group of new words.

Show me
Display a number of picture cards. Say the name of an object on one of the cards and ask individual children to go to the front of the class and point to the correct card.


What's this?
Invite your children to say the name of the object as you show the picture. You can also want to ask the children to say the new word in sentences such as "It is an apple".


Is this a..?
Show the cards. For each card ask "Is this a...?" Let your kids answer the question using "Yes, it is/No, it isn't"
Invite children to correctly identify and name the objects.


Name Bee
Divide the class into two teams. Show a picture card to a member of a team and ask the child to identify it. A team gets one point for each correctly named object.


What's missing?
Display the pictures of five objects on a table. Invite your kids to name the objects several times, going in order from left to right. Then pick up all the cards, mix them up and remove one card. Place the remaining cards on the table. The class has to say the name of the object on the missing card.
If you are working with older kids, add more cards.

Memory Game
Ask four of five kids to line up in front of the class. Give each of the students a picture card. Ask each child to name the object on the card and show it to the class. Then tell the students to put their cards behind their backs so that the class cannot see them.
Ask the kids in front of the class to change the order in which they are standing. Then prompt the class to say the name of the picture that each student has, by asking questions such as "What has Ana got?" with the class responding with the name of the object.

Naming by colour
If your kids know colours, display pictures of four or five objects of different colours. Tell the kids to name the red object, the blue object, and so on..

Naming by position
If the kids know prepositions of place, display five or six picture cards. Say "I can see an object next to the table". What's this?"

Which go together?
Display cards from various categories. Tell the kids to name all the words in a category, for instance, all the foods, all the animals, all the jobs and so on...

Riddles
Display eight or ten pictures cards. Make up descriptive sentences relating to one of the items, such as .."It is an animal. It's a pet. It has got spots. It can bark. What's this?". Let your kids guess which picture you are describing.

Action commands
Line up cards along the blackboard. Give individual kids commands to follow, such as "Point to the ball. Point to the blue object. Place the ball next to the fish" Then encourage your kids to give commands to other kids.

Picture sentences
Have the studens learn and chant sentences for the key word on each picture card that you present. This way the students are learning the words in context that supplements the picture. Here are some examples:
The duck is on the farm.

Chain chants
Ask the kids to chant simple sentences while showing pictures. For example show a picture of tomatoes and let kids chant "I like tomatoes". Then add a picture of an ice-cream and let kids chant "I like tomatoes and pizza".
Continue in the same manner until the kids are naming ten objects. To extend this activity you may want to remove cards and have the kids continue to chant, naming all the "missing" objects.

Pronunciation
Show sets of at least five pictures, the names of at least three of which beging with the same sound.
Ask the children to say the name of each picture and point to the words that begin with the sound you indicate. It is best to use a single consonant sound like B, D, L, M.. for example banana, lion, etc


Word Families
Display ten  picture cards, at least five of which belong to the same class (e.g. animals, clothing)
The students decide on the category and write the names of the objects that belong  in it. Then ask them write the words in an outline of the objects, for example, in the outline of an elephant for animal words, etc

Cloze sentences
Choose five to ten picture cards. On the board write a sentence for each card but leave out the name of the objects pictured.  Display the cards. Have the students complete the sentences with the words pictured. Be sure to write sentences for which there is only one posible answer among the picture cards. For example, use “The………..is pink” when there is only one pink object in the set of picture cards.

Spelling Bee
Show students picture cards and ask them to spell the words after you. After you have dones this several times, have a spelling bee. Divide the class into two teams. Show the picture cards (covering the key Word). Alternate giving words to teams and team members. A team gets one point of each correctlty spelt Word.

Class bingo
Ask the students to make a bingo card. They should draw (or write) nine pictures. Then play bingo. Place the cards in a large bag or box. Pick out a card at random and say the name. The student cross out the words that you name.
The first student to cross out three words across, down or diagonally calss out “bingo” and wins the game.

Many of the general activities already described can be adapted to pair or small group work.

Picking and naming
Put the picture cards for at least ten words that the students know in a large box or bag. The students in a pair or group take turns picking out the cards at random and naming the object on the card.
To make this into a game the students can keep the cards that they can identify. The students with the most cards after all the cards are picked wins the game.

Word Matching
For older kids. Write the names of the objects from a set of picture cards on a separate piece of paper. Give pairs or groups the cards and papers. Tell the students to march the words to the pictures.

Game board
Prepare a sheet of paper with the words “Start” “End” and the words you want them to review. Students name the item pictured for the square they land on. They get one point for each picture they correctly name.

Draw the settings
Show the students a card. Indicate the word for them to focus on. Have them draw another setting for the object. For example a monkey can be drawn in a jungle, Cinderella in the castle, etc

Personal settings
Ask the students to write personal sentences related to a picture card. For example, for a giraffe, they could write “I went to the Zoo and saw two giraffes”

Action sentences
Ask one student to come to the front of the class. Show the card to the student (make sure the rest of the class cannot see it. Ask student to mime the activitiy on the card. The rest of the class guesses the action saying a complete sentence in the present simple or continuous.
Simon says
Simon is my  parrot. He loves parroting.
Display a card and say an action. If the action on the card matches the word you said, the students are to mime the action. If the word you said doesn’t match they are to stand still.

Associated Actions
With the class brainstorm action words associated with each card. Ask students to add words to Invite your students to use the words in sentences.

Comparing animals
Show the class pairs of cards, such as an elephant and a cow. Encourage the students to compare the animals in as many ways as they can, saying sentences such as "The elephant is bigger than the cow"
"The elephant is heavier than the cow". After several whole-class examples tell the students to work in pairs or groups to compare animals, giving each group a set of cards.

If you are working with older students, present three animals at a time and ask the students to use superlative forms such as "The elephant is bigger than the cow but the mammot is the biggest"
The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world

There is an animal in my room
Invite your children to write a make-believe story in which an animal unexpectedly appears in their classroom or in a room in their home. Ask each student to pick a card at random to get the animal to include in his or her story.
Model the activity writing a story with the class. Elicit responses to these questions 
How did the animal get into the room?
How did you react when you saw the animal?
What happened to the animal?

Going on a trip
Display the cards. Write a sentence with a destination on the board such as the following "I am going to the mountains". Ask your children to point to pictures of clothing items they want to take with them on a trip. Model the language, focusing on the use of a/an before nouns in the singular and some before nouns ending in -s
"I am going to the mountain. I want to take a jacket. I want to take some socks."
Ask your children vary their destinations, for example, the beach, the city, the country, a farm.
As a follow-up, ask the students to draw the outline of a suitcase and list the items they chose to put in it. Also ask them to draw their destination.

Shopping spree
Display the cards in various parts of the room to create make-believe stories. Ask children to stand the various "shops" and play the role of sale assistants.
The rest of the students move about the room to "buy" clothes. You may want to provide play money for children to use and ask them to put prices on the clothes. Give the children the opportunity to be both the sales assistants and the customers.
To begin the activity, model the language for asking for items. Here is an expample:
Sales assistant: May I help you?
Customer: I'd like to buy a pair of socks
Sales assistant: What colour would you like?
Customer: I'd like the blue socks
Sales assistant: They cost three pounds. Would you like to buy them?
Customer: Yes, please


Colour search
Display the cards and ask the children to identify the colours of all the objects they can. Prompt them to say complete sentences, such as "The shirt is blue"

Colour posters
Display as many of the cards as possible. Ask the children to make posters with the names of objects that are of a certain colour, using the cards as prompts. Each student chooses a colour to illustrate.
Provide every student with a large piece of heavy paper and pieces of construction paper in teh coloru they have chosen. They might illustrate their posters or paste pictures from magazines.

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