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Describing different ways of walking⁠—learning synonyms with ICT and mind maps


Legacy Member
Jun 16, 2020
In this lesson students will work in groups or pairs (depending on the student number) to master words related to describing different ways of walking (wander, stride, tiptoe, etc). They will use a mind map and a dictionary to find the meanings of the key words and sentences illustrating their usage. Groups of students will present their findings, while others listen and create their own examples, which will be corrected by the teacher. Next, students will look for synonyms of the key words in the dictionary of synonyms (Thesaurus) and add them to the mind map. They will discuss how the synonyms are similar or different to the key words. They will then share their personal preferences for which of the collected words they want to keep in their active vocabulary and why. Next, student will then use all the collected words to create a story together. This class is intended for B2 level students; it is important for students of this level to learn to express themselves eloquently and with more precision.

The lesson plan is intended for a classroom equipped with a computer and a projector, but if these are not available, a blackboard will suffice.

Time60-80 Minutes
Learning Objective

Success Criteria
  • Student will learn synonyms for the verb 'to walk' and master their contextual usage, thereby enriching their spoken and written language expression.
  • Using the new words accurately and in the right context. • Understanding the difference in the meaning of synonyms. • Using the newly learned vocabulary spontaneously to tell a story.
CEFR LevelB2 level can:
  1. Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics.
  2. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  3. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Key Vocabulary
wander, pace, parade, stomp, stride, tiptoe, wade, sneak, creep

Lead in / Warm Up / Introduction (5 minutes)
Teacher stands in front of the class and starts walking around. He/she asks, "What am I doing?" Then the teacher starts walking in several different ways; first he/she tiptoes, then stomps, then wobbles a bit. He/she asks: "Wouldn't you want to be able to precisely describe the way in which someone moves?" Then she/he asks the students why that would be useful for them and their language skills. Several students volunteer their answers.

Scaffolded Task (25 minutes)
  • Teacher gives out the Mind Map Worksheet to the students, shows it on the screen or draws it on the blackboard.
  • T assigns 1 or 2 words to each pair or group of students (depending on the class size) and tells them to look up the words in a dictionary, looking for their definition and 2 examples. They have 3-5 minutes to finish the task.
  • Each pair or group of students then presents their words in front of the class.
  • Other students listen, write down the definitions and the examples.
  • Next, everyone from the audience writes down their own example using the word(s) their classmates presented.
  • A few students volunteer to read out their examples.
  • T listens and discusses the examples with the class, and if time allows, writes some of them down on the board or computer.
  • We repeat this for every group and their word(s).

Semi-Independent Activity (20-25 minutes)
  • Students should swap their words so that every pair or group of students gets a new word or a set of words.
  • T instructs them to use thesaurus.com to look for 2 synonyms of their word. "How are the synonyms similar and how are they different from the original word?" Students discuss in pairs or groups.
  • Each group presents findings in front of the class. They then add their synonyms to the mind map drawn on the blackboard or created on the computer.
  • From all the collected words on the mind map, students brainstorm in groups the top 5 they wish to remember and have as a part of their active vocabulary.
  • Next, they share their reasons with the rest of the class. Other groups listen.

Free practice (5-10 minutes)
  • T starts a story with: "There once was a man named Jack". Students spontaneously volunteer to add a sentence or more using one of the words from the mind map (synonyms included). Every students participates.
  • The story goes on until all the words have been used or the students have run out of sentences to share.
  • If a computer and projector are available, T types the story for everyone to see.

Extension Task (5 minutes)
Students write the story using as many of the target words as possible. T checks around the student's progress and corrects anything if necessary.

Assessment/Feedback (10 minutes)
  • Mime game: T stands in front of the class and mimes different ways of walking.
  • Students guess what newly learned words describe the teacher's walk.
  • Some of the students volunteer to mime the words the teacher assigns to them.
Resources and materials
  • Pencil, pen and Mind Map Worksheet to give out to students (A4).
  • A projector and a computer or a blackboard; if projector and computer are not available, T can print out the Mind Map Worksheet in A3 format or draw it on the blackboard.
  • Smartphones or laptops with internet
  • ICT:

Definitions were taken from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 5th Edition.



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  • Teacher's Handout_Word Meaning.pdf
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