The acquisition of new vocabulary is essential in terms of overall language advancement. However, there is always a need to review active words from time to time in order to use them fluently in speech. Here, we will present a couple of great vocabulary revision games which will perk up every classroom. Through these games the learners will feel how fun, entertaining and effective the learning process can be.
Charades is a fun and cool revision game. Students need to practice their acting skills to explain the words. This game is extremely easy to organize with minimal advance preparation. The only thing to be ready for is to keep a collection of vocabulary cards for the words you have studied.
The class is divided into two teams. Each team member takes turns acting out one of the words from the vocabulary set and explains it by acting out the word. If his or her own team can’t guess the word, the opposite team gets the chance to guess it. Each right answer equals one point.
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Pictionary is also an entertaining game to play for vocabulary review. The rules are similar to those of charades except that instead of acting out the word, it is drawn on the board.
Bingo can serve as a good revision game. From my experience, most of the groups/students like playing bingo because it gives them the chance to reflect on the words they have digested.
Students are given a blank bingo board and are asked to put the review words into the squares randomly. The teacher puts the active words in a hat or a box, takes them out one by one and defines them. If the student has a word corresponding to the definition, he crosses it out on his bingo board. When someone gets five squares in a row, they should shout, “Bingo!”
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4. A memory style
A memory style card game can be another effective way for reviewing vocabulary. It requires some preparation before the game starts. For each word to be reviewed, one card should have the target vocabulary word and another card should have the definition of the word. You also need to have a big playing grid where you put the words and their definitions face down.
Each person turns over two cards each turn trying to find a match. If the cards do not match, he turns them over again and the next person tries to find a match. If he succeeds, he keeps the cards and gets an additional turn. The player with the highest number of cards at the end of the game wins.
The game can be modified even further. If you have accumulated enough synonyms or antonyms to the target vocabulary, you can practice matching target words to their antonyms or synonyms.
Categories is another awesome revision game which will make students energized and empowered. What they need for the game is to draw 4-6 columns on their paper and write a category at the top of each column. Categories fit the topics covered during the course. For example, if you have covered the business topics of Marketing, Work and Leisure, Ethics, Human Resources, Travel, you write these topics as categories.
You time the students and ask them to write as many words as possible under each category. As a further modification, choose a random letter and write it on the board. Give students enough time to write down a word for each category that starts with that letter.
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6. Letter scramble
Letter scramble will make students really competitive and super fast. What you need is to take a list of words that your students have recently learned and write a scrambled version of each on the board. Students need to unscramble the words on their paper. The first one to finish deciphering all the words wins.
7. Stop the bus
Stop the bus is a cool game my students adore. I usually divide the class into 2-3 teams. One student from each team. This student sits on a chair facing his peers. Then from behind the student in the hot seat, show the other students a word from the lesson. The other students must try to describe what the word is without saying the actual word. And the student in the hot seat must guess.
The student who guesses the word shouts out “stop the bus” and checks the word with the teacher. If correct, the team gets a point. If wrong, other teams have the chance to guess the word by writing their versions on a piece of paper and passing the papers to the teacher.
Puzzles is another cool and easy tool to review the material in an effective way. What I like about this way of vocabulary revision is that students can work in pairs or groups while trying to find words matching the definition in the crosswords. They learn by listening to each other, cooperating to find the right answer. In this way, they both review the material and improve their teamwork skills.
Follow this link to get templates of different types of puzzles.
We also recommend watching a video with Alexei Konobeev. The speaker shared games to help your students remember new vocabulary. These games do not require special training and you can adapt them to any age and level.
We hope that all these games would serve their best to liven your vocabulary revision sessions and make them more meaningful and effective.
Which of these games have you tried? Which ones have you picked up for your next revision slot?