Name Ten

Name Ten [Writing Activity]

Activities Free Resources Google Slides Low-Prep

This writing activity is very low-prep and can be used as a general warmer or as a lead-in to more complex vocabulary or concepts. In Name Ten, students work with partners (or small groups, depending on your class size) to quickly brainstorm a list of ten words. The goal is to produce unique words that other groups won’t write, as any repetitions will cancel each other out!

Playing Name Ten

I begin by introducing the rules, giving an example of scoring, then introducing the topic. Though I’ll sometimes use broad categories that thematically apply to the lesson, I often just use a new vocabulary word as a topic. This allows me to gauge existing knowledge and to get a head-start on defining the new words of the lesson.

After some definitions and examples, students pair / group up and get writing. I set a timer for 2-5 minutes, depending on the students’ level. Students can use mini-boards, notebooks, or scrap paper to record their initial ideas. It’s helpful to assign roles to students, such as notebook writer and board writer, to evenly distribute participation.

After the time’s up, students write their lists on the board for all to see. I’ll check for repeat words, or allow students to mark repeats themselves (level-depending). Depending on the topic of the lesson, I might leave these words up for students to use as springboards for new tasks. For example, on teaching a lesson about the food chain, I used “carnivores” as a topic. Some students’ answers included omnivores like bears or humans. Later in the lesson, we were able to re-check our initial answers and re-categorize the omnivores.

The Google Slides Presentation

I’ve put together a Google Slides Presentation that includes teacher notes, image attributions, animated instructions, a scoring example, five sample topics, template slides, and timer resources. Here’s an overview of the slideshow:

View the Google Slideshow here.

To edit this Google Slideshow, you must copy the slides into your own presentation. To get the most out of this activity, you should tailor the topics to your lesson’s content. Be specific to activate students’ existing knowledge surrounding new vocabulary!

Chris Schneider
Chris Schneider
Chris is the founder of EFL.Coach and an educator based in Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam. Chris has taught English as a foreign language in South Korea, Poland, and Vietnam.