This is a different way to introduce a new vocab set to introduce to your students. I learnt it from my tutor on my CELTA course. I used it recently with my 11-year-olds and it worked really well. I think it would work with older students and higher levels too. They get a chance to strengthen their own knowledge with a bit of peer teaching and they can physically chart their learning.
Start by asking your students to take a piece of paper and divide it into 3 sections:
- I know
- I’m not sure
- I don’t know
Then explain that you’re going to read some words out. If they know what the word means they can write it in the first section, if they’re unsure, in the second and if they have no idea, in the last one. Tell them that you’re not going to look at their paper so they can feel OK about writing them all in “I don’t know” if they want to. Tell them also that they should not worry about getting the spelling perfectly right, but to try their best and you’ll go through the spellings later.
Then read out the words slowly, repeating each one until everyone has written it down in one of the boxes. We had about 11 words in our set.
Now you can ask the students to work together in twos or threes to share their knowledge. Everyone will have put different words in different places. Show them that if they have a word in “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” and their partner can help explain it to them, they can cross it out and write it in “I know”. Give them some time to do this. I let my students speak Spanish for this activity, although I’m not sure it was necessary.
Lastly, you can go through each one by eliciting what each word means and writing it on the board. Follow it up with some drilling and a vocab practice activity and there you have it!