This is my favourite and most rewarding lesson. These materials can be used in 1 or even 2 lessons, depending on the level of your students: higher level should only be one but weaker students may need 2. However, don’t let this dictate the pace-you should be able to judge how much time your students may need.
I normally use this at the beginning of my teaching year but it can be used at any time. Simply put, a number of nonsense words have been put into a text and the students have to identify ‘synonyms’ for these words e.g. “gerts” in the text could be shop/supermarket/clothes store etc. anything that could accurately complete the sentence, and what part of speech it represents.
The exercise is to help students think about the text as a whole and how to deal with new or unfamiliar vocabulary. Break your class into groups and have them work independently of each other. It’s important that you do not to rule out ANY answer, rather let the students do this as they get more comfortable with the text.
It begins by asking students how they deal with new vocabulary; then definitions of meaning and context; an example-“magwop”=lunch/books/phone/coat etc., then the main exercise itself. 10 questions are there to help the students with the content as well, and to get them to think about what part of speech the target word is. Finally Exercise 2 uses much higher academic vocabulary than the students may have encountered but they should be able to work out most of the meanings. It can be slow and a little difficult at the beginning, especially with lower level students, but once they begin to grasp the skills you are introducing they really enjoy the lesson.