table and chairs

Purpose: to practice describing vocabulary words

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Materials: a set of word cards with vocabulary to review

Prep: create the set of word cards and place a chair in the front of the room, facing the class


1.      Divide the class in to two teams.

2.      A student from team A sits in the chair in the front of the room and chooses a word card.


Purpose: To practice vocabulary by saying examples

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Materials:  Round the Circle Template (link is below), a list of six category vocabulary words, game pieces/coins

Prep: Fill in the Round the Circle Template with the category level vocabulary words and make copies for groups of students. Some example words to use:


Source: Learning One-to One by Ingrid Wisniewska

Purpose: to use speaking and listening skills to practice asking questions and vocabulary

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Materials: a wordpool grid, pen or pencil

Purpose:  To help learners become familiar with the state of Minnesota and to work on map-reading skills.

Prep time:  variable

Materials:  Each student or small group of students will need a fairly current highway map of Minnesota; other examples of maps might also be useful, e.g. city or neighborhood maps to show; a U.S. map is also required

Purpose:  To familiarize learners (low intermediate and above) with parts of a dictionary entry.  This activity would work especially well if a weekly spelling/vocabulary list is part of your instruction.

Note: Dictionaries are a great resource for tutors as well as for learners.  For example, the Longman Dictionary of American English defines words in simple language that students can understand.  It also uses each word in a sentence to aid comprehension.  Not sure how to explain a word to your students?  Check the learner dictionary!

Purpose: To give intermediate level learners an opportunity to understand and practice correct adjective order in English

Preparation Time:  10-20 minutes

Materials:  large flash cards for sequencing activity (see explanation below)

Preparation:  The presentation about adjective order can easily be done on the board, by using the table below, but you could also create a handout if desired.

Purpose: To talk about rules using “can’t” and “have to” and to discuss cultural issues in driving laws

Preparation Time:  None

Materials:  Board and markers; pencils and paper


1. Ask students if they drive. Ask students “What are some of the laws you must follow if you drive in Minnesota/the United States?”

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

Purpose: To recognize and practice container vocabulary associated with shopping for food (a can of tomatoes, a box of cereal, etc.)

Preparation time:  None

Materials:  Enough circulars from grocery stores for each learner to have one, paper, scissors; glue

Preparation: You will need to have taught the container vocabulary earlier in the lesson or in a previous lesson.


Purpose: listening comprehension of isolated words and vocabulary review

Preparation Time:  5 minutes to list items in a category

Materials:  blackboard or whiteboard with chalk or markers

Preparation: Be sure to link any activity to what went before or what is coming after.  For example, “Yesterday we talked about shopping for food.  Tell me the names of some of the things you buy at the supermarket.”



Subscribe to RSS - vocabulary