Draw the Word Stress

three words with large and small circles behind them to show the stress patterns

Purpose:  To help learners become familiar with the word stress patterns of their vocabulary words through using a visual support

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None


  1. Say a word from the lesson’s vocabulary. Emphasize the syllable that is stressed.
  2. Repeat the word and write it on the whiteboard. Have the learners copy the word in their notebooks.
  3. Draw circles above the word, one for each syllable. The circles for the unstressed syllables will be small, and the circle for the stressed syllable will be large. The learners copy the circles over the word in their notebooks.
  4. Have the learners read the word using the correct word stress and touching their finger to the circles as they say the word.
  5. Repeat the process with the next word.
  6. When you have finished the vocabulary words, have the learners pair up and read through the words, stressing the correct syllable in each word.
  7. If the words were in a reading, have the learners then read the entire text, focusing on correctly pronouncing the words with the circles above them.

 O   o                     O   o  o                 O  o                 o    O    o

Example:      doctor                   medicine              clinic                prescription

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