Vocabulary envelopes

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Revision as of 16:43, 28 October 2012 by Jameson2000ad (talk | contribs)

A class vocabulary envelope is a student-centred and cooperative system of recording and reviewing vocabulary and has numerous applications.


  • At the end of each class, the teacher asks students to choose up to eight lexical items from the lesson that they would like to remember.
  • Alone or in pairs, the students then create vocabulary tabs on small sqaures of paper which should include any important specifics from the list above. Here is an example:
A vocabulary tab
  • The teacher monitors the creation of the tabs, checking the accuracy and helping.
  • Once finished, all the tabs are put into a class envelope which accumulates up to eight tabs each lesson.
  • During subsequent classes, vocabulary games can be played with the tabs to review them. Games such as guess the word, mnemonics, charades and pictionary all work well.
  • During a course, the students may want to revise the contents of the envelope, throwing away any that have been memorized and clarifying any that are unclear.

Vocabulary envelope games

There are a few games which rely on the availabiity of a set of vocabulary tabs, and these are as follows:



  • Pairs or groups of three students are formed.
  • The tabs are arranged face-down in a grid in front of the pairs/groups.
  • On taking a turn, a player turns over two tabs; in order to win them, s/he has to provide a true sentence which connects the two lexical items. For example, on turning over "slippery" and "martial arts", a student would need to form a sentence such as "when practising martial arts, it is best not to be near something slippery like a banana skin".
Note: instructions must be checked to avoid the production os meaningless sentences such as "karate is a slippery martial art" or definitions of the words.
  • The game continues and the winner is the player who holds the most pairs of tabs at the end.

Time trials