Tip From: Chris Powers, ESL Mentor

All students need and want to increase their vocabulary. It takes many times of seeing words before they can be used by a student. The more activities and way to recycle vocabulary the better!

This activity is good when presenting a new story or topic. It allows for individuals to absorb as much or as little as they can but increases active time with the vocabulary as it is discussed in small groups.

Choose 10 to 15 words from a reading or topic that you will be working with.
Scramble the words on a piece of paper and give each student a copy face down.
When you say go have each student turn the paper over and study the words. Usually 15-20 seconds depending on the number of words and level of the students.
Next have the students individually write as many words as they remember. Then ask them to write words they think go with the words that they remembered.
Working in pairs or small groups have the students talk about what they think the reading will be about and if the level and time permit write a few sentences on the topic.

Give out a copy of the text to each student and allow time for them to read. Discuss which words they find hard and which words they think the scramble will help them to remember and why.

Remember that the number of words you use to scramble will depend on the level of your students and the length of the reading you will be presenting.