Review Activity of Vocabulary (for ESL Teachers)
Target Language: vocabulary
ESL Level: lower-intermediate to advanced
Class Time: 25 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Summary: students give hints to their partners to complete a crossword puzzle together
This is a jigsaw activity using crossword puzzles. A jigsaw activity is basically when one student has half of the answers (or information) and the other student has the other half. They then have to work to get all the answers.
This jigsaw in this activity looks like this:
As you can see, StudentA has been given the horizontal answers, and StudentB has he vertical answers. Once you put the students in pairs, tell them to give hints to each other so they can complete the crossword puzzle together.
Students should not just say the answer (e.g. “number three down is conservation!“). Instead, they should give hints to their partner (e.g. “number three down is a noun. We studied it yesterday. It means… protection. It’s the protection of nature and animals.“)
My students enjoy this activity because it’s a puzzle and it’s also a useful way to review vocabulary.
How I Prepare the Activity
I can prepare two sheets like the above in 20 minutes. Here are my steps.
- Go to a free Crossword Puzzle Maker.
- Add a title and enter your vocabulary as both ‘words’ and ‘clues’
3. Next, create the crossword puzzle as an image or PDF.
- Print two copies.
- Fill in copy one with the vertical answers, and copy two with the horizontal answers (as seen above).
- Cut off the hints section at the bottom so the students won’t have the answers.
- Copy for your class and enjoy.
I hope you find this vocabulary review activity useful.
– Matthew Barton / Creator of Englishcurrent.com