Learning new vocabulary and having fun

Learning new vocabulary and having fun

Learning new vocabulary can be very boring if you just give students a list of words – but you can make it into a fun game before they ever see the words. Here’s my process for teaching new vocabulary, espcially when we have a nice variety of cognates mixed with non-cognates.

I’m giving this to my students this week so they can glue it into their notebooks. I’ll have them fill in the words under each image. To open the pdf file, just click on the image. Before I give them the handout for their notebooks, we will play a game that my students LOVE.  I call it “grab it” and it’s not something I invented (although I tweaked the rules a little bit). 

Learning new vocabulary – how to play “Grab it”

  1.  Each group/table gets a set of the vocabulary images.  They are cut apart so each image is on its own. You don’t need to cut exactly around the image – in fact it’s better if you don’t. (to make your images, I suggest using Canva – read about some ideas on using Canva here.)
  2. The images are put face-up on the table.  I will start to call out the names of the items in French.  I’ll usually repeat each item 2-3 times before moving on to the next item.
  3. The kid who grabs the item gets to keep the paper.
  4. Keep calling out items until you have one item left.  At this point, the kids need to keep their hands OFF of the table.
  5. Call out a bunch of items quickly – say each item once.  At some point during this list of items, include the remaining item that is on the table.  If a kid grabs for the item before you call it out, they are disqualified from grabbing the item.
  6. Have the kids keep track of how many cards they got.  I usually do 2-3 rounds, so they add up their total and determine the winner that way.

Although this can be used for review after you’ve learned the words, I usually use it as an introduction to learning new vocabulary.  Some of the words they’ve never heard before, and that’s fine.  It gets them to really listen and use their thinking skills to see if they can figure out what the word is. 

If many of them seem to be having trouble with a word, I’ll describe to them in French what it is, what it looks like, how it’s used, etc. After we’ve played the game 2-3 rounds, the kids have a good idea of what the vocabulary is.  Then we put their copy in the notebooks and go over the spelling of each word and they write it on their copy.  

Learning new vocabulary - a fun game

Learning new vocabulary with digital gamesSaveSave

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