You are not logged in. Login to download, edit and save materials

Word Shakers

Attached files

Word Shakers


By the end of the activity pupils will be able to:

·     recognise words and put them into appropriate categories.

·     vocabulary review (depending on categories chosen)

Target Language:


Time needed for preparation:

30 minutes

Time needed in class:

30 minutes


Level 1
Level 2

Language Focus:

Language Arts

Activity Use:


Pupil Task:

Pair Work
Group Work

Which learning institute:



Colour paper, empty 1.5 or 2 litre plastic bottles, rice

Procedure before class:

1.       Select 3 categories of words to practice, with 6-10 words in each category.
2.       Print the words on colour paper and cut into individual words.
3.       Place words in an empty plastic bottle and half-fill the bottle with white rice.

Procedure in class:

1.       The activity can be used as an end-of -class activity to review the different chosen categories taught during the lesson or used as an activity for fast-finishers.
2.       Tell students that they will have a time limit of 5-10 minutes depending on level, difficulty and number of words in the bottle.
3.       Give each individual/pair/small group a bottle and ask them to find words in a given category.
4.       The winning group is the one to find the most words from their category within the time limit.
5.         The students read out the words that they found.

Follow Up:

·       Do error correction as a class.
·       Ask the students to read the words.
·       Get students to make simple sentences with the words.
·       Identify the different categories in the bottles.


The categories can be changed to have any target language focus e.g. animals, fruit, transport, clothing, occupations, places, parts of the body and so on.

More categories or words can be included in each bottle to make it more difficult.

Smaller or larger bottles can be used depending on number of words and categories.

The activity can be used as a main activity to practise simple sentence construction. Fill the bottle with different parts of speech, pronouns, verb “to be”, verbs, common nouns, articles and so on. Students have to shake the bottle and make as many correct sentences as they can with the given words. Individual/pair/group with the most correct sentences within the time limit is the winner.


Make sure that all of the words in one bottle are printed on the same colour paper.

Use thick paper or card so that words don’t fold.

Laminate words so they don’t stick together.

Use different coloured paper for different groups/bottles.

Use cheap rice.