Semantic Fields Game

This is a simple game you can play with semantic fields.


Prepare a set of flashcards. On each one write the name of a semantic field. For example,

kitchen items
things in my bedroom
office equipment

When you choose the semantic fields, make sure they are relevant to your class. If you teach Business English to a group of beginners who are all furniture sales staff, you could have cards with:


A more advanced class of road engineers might have cards on which you’ve written:

building materials
construction equipment
surveying equipment

In the Class

Students take it in turns to choose a card at random. They then have to tell to the rest of the class items which fit into the semantic field they have. The class have to guess the semantic field on the card.

For example, in a General English beginners class the card might read clothes and the student might begin:

shirt… jacket… tie… trousers… hat…


1) To make the game easier, especially with younger learners or beginners, instead of having a semantic field written on the card, the student is given a picture on which a selection of items is shown, for example pig, hen, cow, horse. The student then names as many items as they can and with the class tries to work out the semantic field, which in this case would be farm animals.


2) You can make the semantic field as general or as specific as your class can handle. This means going from “clothes” to “items in my closet”. From there you can move to more esoteric fields such as “things which are soft” or “things which break when you drop them”. (See the selection of Fun Semantic Fields below!)

3) The game can easily be made into a competition between groups in the class. How many words does it take for a group to guess the semantic field?


Fun Semantic Fields

  • Things which won’t fit in my pocket.
  • Breakfast food.
  • Things which you can find in the rubbish bin.
  • Things which people often lose.
  • Attitudes which annoy me.
  • Emotions.
  • Round things.
  • Smelly things.

Useful Links

Semantic Fields in TEFL– explanation, examples and usage of the lexical fields.

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Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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