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ESL Vocabulary Lesson Plan - Opposites for Beginning Level Learners

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Learning new vocabulary often requires "hooks" - memory devices that help students remember the words they have learned. Here is a quick, traditional and effective exercise focusing on pairing opposites. The opposites have been divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced level lessons. The exercise can be done as a matching exercise, or, for a greater challenge, students can be asked to come up with the opposites themselves. Both types of exercises are included in the resource section of this lesson.

Aim: Improving vocabulary through the use of opposites

Activity: Matching opposites

Level: Beginner

Outline:

  • Divide students into small groups and distribute the opposites worksheet.
  • Ask students to either match the opposites (exercise 1) or write the opposites (exercise 2). If you have more time, you can ask students to first match the opposites and then write out the opposites individually. Alternatively, you could give exercise as follow-up homework.
  • Correct in class. Expand the exercise by asking students to provide synonyms.
Lesson Plan - ESL Vocabulary Lesson Plan - Opposites

Exercise 1 - Match the Opposites

boy
speak
old
right
far
foot
sister
wife
black
cool
buy
clean
small
woman
begin
drink
full
fat
stand up
father
short
hard
cold
light

big, large
brother
dark, heavy
dirty
eat
empty
end
girl
head, hand
hot
husband
left, wrong
listen
long, tall
man
mother
near, close
new, young
sell
sit down
soft, easy
thin
warm
white

Exercise 2 - Fill in the Opposites

boy
speak
old
right
far
foot
sister
wife
black
cool
buy
clean
small
woman
begin
drink
full
fat
stand up
father
short
hard
cold
light

Intermediate Level Opposites

Advanced Level Opposites

Back to lessons resource page

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