Guess the Category

Purpose: To review vocabulary, to practice generalization and figuring out a topic

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Materials:  Tutor-generated word lists for students


Generate lists of words that your students know. One of the words in the list should be the topic or category. The other should be words that fit into that category.  Make a copy of the list for each student. For example:

List #1                                    List #2                            List #3

Ocean                                     cat                                 shirt

Sea                                         dog                                socks

River                                       squirrel                          pants

Lake                                       buffalo                           hat

Water                                     horse                             jacket

Pond                                      camel                            clothing

Puddle                                    animal                           tie

Bay                                         deer                               sweater

Stream                                   lion                                scarf



1. Present the list to the students and explain the activity.

2. Have the students quickly read through the list and circle the word that is the topic or the category.

3. When finished, have them read their answers. Discuss any that they got incorrect.


Variation: For higher-level students, provide them with a list of words WITHOUT the category. The task is to determine the category.

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