Picture Word Match

Picture Word Match is a very simple activity ideal for young learners. It helps reinforce vocabulary and spelling.


Cut out and prepare a load of flashcards. These should be in pairs. On one put a picture of an item and on the other, the written name of the item. The level should be fairly basic so it can be used with beginner classes (i.e. dealing with concrete nouns only).

There should be enough pairs so each student can have 4 or 5 each.


In class go over some of the vocabulary on the cards just to get the students naming a few objects. Pick out pictures one at a time and get the students to call out the name; give out the picture to different people in the class till each student has two of three cards.

Then start to pick out a written word at random and get students to call it out. Whichever student has a picture of the item can shout out and claim the matching written word. Do this a few times till the class gets the idea that they have to match the picture with the word.

Running the Activity

Once the students have understood the idea with the cards you can move on. Take all the cards back and together with those you haven’t used, shuffle them all up (or put them all in a cardboard box and mix them in there).

Next, deal out 4 cards FACE DOWN on each student’s desk. Don’t let them look yet!

Tell them that they must find the pair for each of their cards. How do they do this? Simple. They need to go around the class and compare cards with other students; when they find a match the two students need to come to you and show you; if it’s a good match you take the cards back.

The idea is to get rid of all their cards and the first student to that wins. Alternatively you can make this a boys vs girls game so that anyone who gets rid of all their cards can go and help another boy/girl in their team.

Useful links

Vocabulary‏‎ and TEFL– an overview of what vocabulary is, how it is formed, what it includes etc.

Teaching English Vocabulary‏‎ – tips and ideas to make learning words fun.

Spelling in English Writing – section dedicated to the order in which letters are used to make up words.

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Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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