Food Vocabulary

Food Vocabulary CardsA picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a saying I’m sure many of us have heard before. This phrase rings so true in language teaching. Pictures help students make associations with words without having to translate. I use tons of pictures in class. I often display pictures on slides, but recently I’ve also started creating vocabulary cards with pictures. This lets me structure different interactive activities that get students talking and learning in a fun way. These food vocabulary cards can be used in many different ways to get students learning food vocabulary and different grammar structures.  One way I recently used them is as an introduction to food vocabulary to lead into a unit on food and health. In the previous unit, we learned vocabulary for likes and dislikes. I harnessed that previous knowledge for this introduction activity. You’ll notice that the count nouns are in the plural form to help students correctly talk about likes and dislikes and start to distinguish between count and non-count nouns. Below is what a did, along with ideas for other ways to use these cards.

Download Food Vocabulary Cards

 Ask and Switch 

  1. Review likes/dislikes vocabulary and questions
    1. Do you like_____________________?
      1. Yes, I do.
      2. No, I don’t.
  2. Model the activity with a student by giving a volunteer a card. Ask the student if he/she likes the thing you have on your card. Let the student answer the question. Prompt the student to then do the same with the card he/she has. After you have both asked and answered a question, model switching cards. This is an important part of the activity because it gives students the chance to see a lot of different cards and ask questions about different food items.
  3. Give every student a card and have them walk around and ask their classmates about the foods they like. Make sure they’re switching cards.
    1. I participated by using the excess cards. This helped to get more cards into circulation and remove cards that others had seen.

Other Ideas 

  1. GO FISH: I plan to use these cards after talking about the use of some and any.  My plan is to print two copies of the cards, so there will be two copies of each food item. I will then deal cards to students and we’ll play a version of Go Fish to try and get pairs. The idea is to elicit the question and response forms as follows.
    1. Do you have any ___________________?
      1. Yes, I have some _______________.
      2. No, I don’t have any___________.
  2. COUNT OR NON-COUNT SEARCH: This is similar to the Go Fish game, except instead of pairs, students must try and get hands of either only count nouns or only non-count nouns.
  3. DESIGN A MENU: Another use of these cards could be to have students design a menu. Deal the cards evenly to each group. The group must then create a menu using the food from the cards they were given. Afterward, the class votes on the best menu. Alternatively, you could choose the restaurant you’d want to eat at instead of a class vote. I’ve had this also work before. Students seemed motivated to make something the teacher would choose.
  4. CONCENTRATION: With two sets printed, you could have your students play the game of concentration by laying the cards face down. Each person gets a chance to flip over two cards. If the cards are a match, then the player gets to keep them and go again. If the cards aren’t a match, then they are turned back over, and players need to remember them for future turns.
  5. Food Vocabulary Cards

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