Author: Adrian Tennant | Published on 1 November 2023


Read what a teacher says about this activity:

Before, I let learners work with whoever they wanted – or I just gave them a number and told the 1s, 2s, 3s etc. to sit together. But they didn’t learn anything by doing this. So I now use a different approach, in which they can actually learn language at the same time.

Stage 1: Prepare

Make enough cards so there is one for each learner. In this activity, the focus is on compound words, i.e.

water melon

air port

lap top

earth quake

hand shake  

foot ball

hot dog

sun glasses

Stage 2: Introduce

Say: “I’m going to give you all a card with a word on it. You need to find a partner who has a word that goes with your word to make a new word.”

Demonstrate, if necessary.  

Stage 3: Do

Hand out the cards. And say: “Stand up and find your partner. Don’t show your card, read the word out.”

Stage 4: Check

Say: “When you find your partner come and check with me.” 

Stage 5: Expand

There are lots of different ways you can expand the activity, but here is something Kima did.

[play audio]

After my learners found their partner we went round the class and practised the word stress. Then we did the next activity in the pairs.

You can reuse the cards and also use other word activities for example: matching picture cards with words (animals, food etc); words to definitions; words to gapped sentences; verb tenses with time words.


compound words: two or more words that have been grouped together to create a new word

demonstrate: To show and explain how learners should do a task.