Vocabulary Knowledge Share

Vocabulary development is so important to a students’ ability to communicate on a particular topic. Unless you teach absolute beginners, chances are that your students will already have some knowledge and vocabulary on a topic. By having students share what they do know will help to improve the class’s overall knowledge on a particular topic.


This vocabulary share activity can be used to introduce a new topic or at any point that you want the class to build their vocabulary. It will also give your students a chance to explain the words that they do know, which will help them learn them even better. My students have enjoyed doing it, and it’s nice that it gets them up and out of their seats for a bit. Find the directions and document below.

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  1. Pass out the vocabulary sheet or direct students to write on any piece of paper.
  2. Give them 4-5 minutes to work on their own to brainstorm all of the words they can think of that relate to the given topic. Ask them to write the words in the left-hand column.
  3. Next, ask students to walk around and talk to different classmates and see what words they have. Tell your students to add the new words they learn to the list. Tell them they can also write a note, definition, or translation in the right-hand column to help them remember the new word.
  4. As a whole class debrief, I asked students to call out some interesting words that they had learned and tell the class the meaning.  
  5. To extend this activity, you could assign as homework something related to the list of words. For example:
    1. Study the new words
    2. Write a sentence for each word using it in context
    3. Write a story using at least 10 words from your list  


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