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Language and Communication build a bank of words around a topic or word feature  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will build a bank of words around a specific topic or feature (e.g. words starting with 'k'). They will start to draw on this knowledge to work out what a secret word is by asking relevant questions with support.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:English Writing
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:L1a
TAP skill:Writing
TAP level:TAP60
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info

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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Topic books

Ring binder and paper or some blank exercise books

Topic pictures

Word web (optional)

1. Choose a topic - this can either be curriculum related (at school) or around an activity you will be doing e.g. a trip to the seaside (at home).

2. Explain that you are going to think about all the words you need to talk about that topic.

3. Think about what sort of things you will see and do. You could write these down in a thought shower (let the children make as many suggestions as possible without filtering them at first).

4. Together look for pictures to stick in the book for each word.

5. Write down the word for each picture and think about what it means, what it starts with, how many syllables, what it rhymes with, etc.

You could also do this activity as a collage - to produce a large poster.

You could also do it on the computer, and look for pictures on-line.


Ring binder and paper or some blank exercise books

Pictures of common items or of curriculum items

Word web (optional)

1. This activity is similar to 'Topic Books' above, but words are grouped according to sound rather than meaning.

2. Choose a sound you want to work with first.

3. Explain that you are going to find lots of words that start with that sound.

4. Look through the pictures you have (or an Argos catalogue!) and find items which start with your chosen sound. Cut out the pictures and stick in the book / file.

5. Write the name of the item underneath the picture, and discuss what it does / where you find it.

You could do this activity as a collage, working to make a large poster.

You could also do it on the computer, and look for pictures on-line.


Bingo cards - each with a list of words on it.

A set of definitions of the words (descriptions of what the words mean).

Alphabet Race

A grid with each letter of the alphabet and a space to write beside each one.


Cards with a different category on each one (e.g. animals, names, clothes, fruit, vegetables, places).

Timer (optional).

You can play this as a round, where the teams swap grids when the timer sounds. For the next round, each team needs to add more words to the grid that was started by a different team. The first team to complete a grid wins.

Topic Trees / Mind Maps

Blank sheet of paper


Cards with different topics on them (optional)

You can use a different colour for each set of branches.

What is that Word

Paper, pencil

Cards with prompt questions on them (optional) such as:

How many parts?

How many syllables?

What type of thing is it?

Where do you find it?

What is it used for?

How big is it?

What does it feel like?

What shape is it?

What is the first sound?

What does it rhyme with?

What is the last sound?



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