As teachers, we know that a strong vocabulary is essential to developing reading and comprehension skills. Simply put, students with a more robust vocabulary will have an easier time reading and understanding what you are teaching. Reading and comprehension skills are also interconnected with writing skills. Helping to build your students’ vocabulary is a sure way to put them on the right path to success on their educational journey.
As your ESL students advance through their education, they will undoubtedly encounter a variety of education/classroom words. We have rounded up a list of worksheets and lesson plans that will help your students build their vocabulary. Let’s take a look.
Educational Words for Young Learners
Children are typically visual learners. Recent studies show that the use of color visuals increases a child's willingness to read by as much as 80%. The use of visual aids will not only help your younger learners by increasing their desire to learn, but it will also allow them to comprehend better. The following worksheets are geared towards young students.
Classroom Vocabulary - With this worksheet, students must look at the picture and then select the classroom item that best connects with the image. There are a total of 20 questions all related to the classroom.
Back to School Word and Picture Matching - This worksheet is geared toward younger students, and as the name suggests, it features items that are associated with going back to school, such as a backpack, blackboard, etc.
Yo-Yee School Subjects: Flashcards/Pictionary - This pictionary/flashcard activity from Yo-Yee familiarizes students with various subjects in a graphical way. It helps students develop their word-picture recognition skills and builds school subjects vocabulary.
In addition to the worksheets mentioned above, there are various activities you can do with your students to help build their classroom vocabulary. While these are not worksheets, they are an excellent way to introduce or review classroom-related vocabulary with your beginning level or younger students. Let’s take a look at a few:
Role Plays and Dialogues - This is an excellent way to have your students practice words they have recently learned. You can utilize pictures to help your young students. Employ your creativity to explore various scenarios you can implement into your role-play sessions. If you have a large class, consider rotating between teacher to student and student to student dialogues. This exercise is not only fun but can help build student confidence as well.
Describe My Part of the Classroom - This activity works best with a large classroom. In this activity, you will have your students separate into groups and go to various sections of the classroom, and as the name suggests you will have each group describe the objects that are in their section of the classroom. Have students rotate around the room to get practice describing different areas.
The classic game “I Spy” - This age-old classic game is not only fun but is an excellent activity to help students build on their classroom-related vocabulary. The game can be played in various ways. You can have one student come up to the board and you show them a classroom-related word. Have that student give their classmates clues as to what that word is while their classmates try to guess the answer. If you have younger students you man consider incorporating pictures into this activity.
If you want to learn more about how you can help students use classroom-related vocabulary, consider reading 7 Speaking Activities to Introduce Classroom Language.
Educational Words for Elementary and Pre-Intermediate Students
As we covered in the previous section, visual aids are great for younger and elementary students. As students progress to the pre-intermediate level, it is a good practice to replace visual aids with words clues. Here are a few worksheets targeted towards elementary through to pre-intermediate.
School and Education (Vocabulary) - This reading and comprehension worksheet is an excellent way to help students develop their vocabulary relating to education and the classroom. It leverages word clues that are perfect for pre-intermediate students.
School Vocabulary: Elementary Word Search - This crossword puzzle is a great way to have your students engaged and have fun at the same time. Your students will need to search for 19 words on the topic “School education in Britain.” Here's a list of words used in this word search: CHOOSE, CLASS, TEACHER, HISTORY, EASY, ART, DIFFICULT, SCIENCE, MUSIC, SUBJECT, MATHEMATICS, LITERATURE, KNOW, POPULAR, INTERESTING, STUDY, LEARN, LESSON, CLASSMATE.
Education Word Search - This crossword puzzle features 14 educational words. Here are the words used in this word search: TERM, ESTABLISHMENT, EDUCATION, DEGREE, COMPULSORY, PRIVATE, SCOLARSHIP, SCORE, GUIDANCE, KNOWLEDGE, SUBSIDIZE, EMPHASIS, OPTIONAL, REQUIREMENTS.
Educational Words For Intermediate Learners
At the intermediate level, your students will have a good understanding of the language and should be somewhat fluent. While not entirely dependent on visual aids to help with comprehension, it does help in that regard. This worksheet helps students build on their vocabulary related to education, exams, and learning, using a visually stimulating mind map. This worksheet features two mind maps, the first of which focuses on three areas: learning, exams, and phrasal verbs, and the second focuses on people at school, school facilities, and finish school.
If you want to learn more about introducing new vocabulary check out 7 Best Ways to Introduce New Vocabulary
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