ESL Word Association Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Elementary and Above - 25 minutes
This word association game helps students practice vocabulary relating to a topic. The game can also be used as a lead-in to a topic area. Write a list of ten topics you want the students to practice on the board, e.g. holidays, happiness, technology, etc. Divide the students into teams of two and give each team a piece of paper. Ask the teams to copy the topics from the board and then write three words they associate with each topic. You can specify whether the three words should be general or personal associations. For example, the topic 'holidays' can be generally associated with words like 'beach' or 'hotel', but someone may have a personal association with the topic 'holidays' such as 'cycling' or 'sleeping'. When the students have finished writing, have each team join with another team. The teams then take it in turns to say one of their associated words to the other team. The other team has three chances to guess which topic the word refers to. If the team guesses the correct topic on their first try, they score three points. On their second try, they score two points. On their last try, they get one point. This process continues until all the words have been used. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. You can make the game longer or shorter by changing the number of topics and words the students write.