Two simple pairwork activities to reinforce young learners’ vocabulary

Justyna Matwiejczyk

We love hearing from teachers about what works in their classroom and we love sharing teaching ideas. Today, a Kid’s Box teacher from a primary school near Milan shares what they, and their pupils, like best about the series. Watch the video and read on for some pairwork activities.

“They love working in pairs. It really consolidates their knowledge.”

Mariacristina has been teaching with Kid’s Box for four years. One of the successes she has achieved teaching with the course is that children love working in pairs. So, to give you a flavour of pairwork in Kid’s Box, we have selected two simple pairwork activities. They are easy to set up and perfect for reinforcing target language.

Find pairs

This activity works equally well with any set of picture cards and is great for reinforcing vocabulary and getting your pupils to practise language in a fun way.

Materials: printed copies of Worksheet 1 (one per pupil), scissors (one pair per pupil)

Worksheet key: 1 phone, 2 mirror, 3 clock, 4 sofa, 5 mat, 6 lamp

Distribute the worksheets in class, one per pupil. Ask your pupils to locate the furniture vocabulary in the word search. Words are written horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Pupils write the words under the corresponding pictures.

Once the pictures are signed, pupils work in pairs, A and B.

  • They cut out the picture cards from their worksheets, place them face down in the middle of the table and shuffle them.
  • Pupil A turns over two cards. If they are different, play passes to Pupil B. If the cards are the same, Pupil A says The (item of the furniture) are mine, puts the pair aside and has another go.
  • The winner is the pupil with most pairs.


Why not introduce an extra challenge to the activity? Pupils colour the cards then shuffle them. The pupil who uncovers a matching pair says the furniture item and its colour before claiming the cards. Pupils can also say where in the house the objects can be found.


Children enjoy codes and puzzles. This activity is a fun way to practise speaking through short dialogues.

This activity is a great way to extend speaking practice and inject some fun into it. The format can be easily replicated for any topic and the characters can be replaced with children’s favourite cartoons or book characters.

Materials: Worksheet 2 (one per pupil), audio track, scissors and glue

Worksheet key: 1 play, 2 close, count, 3 are, is, tail, under, armchair, 4 feet, see, next, 5 in, cupboard, hair, 6 horse

Character key (from the left): Maskman, Marie, Trevor, Monty

Pupils use the shape code to help them complete the sentences. They then check their answers either by listening to audio or by comparing with the class. Discuss with the class which alternatives are valid and which are not.

Once the sentences are complete:

  • Pupils cut out the characters and sentences and stick them in their notebook according to who says what in the story.
  • Pupils work in pairs or in groups of four. They each choose a character and act out the story.
  • Pupils exchange roles.


Why not add a little challenge to this activity? Pupils memorise their lines and act out the story in front of the class. The rest of the class, without looking in their notebooks, try and guess which pupil plays which character.

We hope you enjoy these ideas. Which pairwork activities work for you? Share your ideas in the comments.

These activities come from Kid’s Box Updated Second Edition Teacher’s Resource Book 2. Discover more Kid’s Box resources.

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