10Fun Vocabulary Trees

by Danny K. Howard, EAP Associate Director

This is a great activity to do for students who want to build up their vocabulary in a fast nd fun way. Think about it. When you are having a conversation with an English speaker, what is the hardest part of it? For many students, it is very hard to think of vocabulary to use in the situation. Now, there is a fun way to help this problem. The Vocabulary Tree is a great way to add lots of nouns, adjectives, and verbs to your vocabulary to improve your speech with others. It’s really easy to do...

Materials needed:

  • Your imagination
  • A good dictionary

What to do:

  1. First, choose a place or event.
  2. After you decide, close your eyes and think of all of the sights, sounds, and feelings that you imagine when you think of the place/event.
  3. Now, write a single sentence about the sounds you hear at this place/event.
  4. Now, write 5 nouns for things people wear at this place/event
  5. Next, write 5 nouns that can be seen at this place/event.
  6. Next, think of 5 adjectives that describe that place/event.
  7. Now add 5 adjectives that describe how some people feel when they are at this place/event.
  8. Next, write down 5 verbs that describe action that is done at the place/event.

You can even add a picture if you like!

Now, look at an example of what a Vocabulary Tree might look like:


The sea/beach

At the sea, I can hear the sound of seagulls in the sky and children playing in the water.

The sea/beach
  • bikini
  • googles
  • whales
  • shades
  • sunscreen
  • shore
  • sandcastles
  • cliffs
  • yachts
  • sunbathers
  • humid
  • breezy
  • serene
  • chilly
  • vast
  • relaxed
  • seasick
  • nervous
  • shivery
  • refreshed
  • splash
  • drown
  • snorkel
  • dive
  • sail

Here are some other ideas to choose from:

  • Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Ski resort
  • my classroom
  • downtown
  • an onsen
  • a department store
  • a university

The Vocabulary Tree will give you a lot of vocabulary that is connected to a single place or event. Because it is connected to the same place/event, you will remember the words better. And because you use your imagination to think of the words, you will remember them longer. This is helpful for building vocabulary, and it will make it easier to talk about these places with English speakers. Can you imagine keeping a journal full of vocabulary such as this? The great thing about the Vocabulary Trees is: the more trees you make, the more your English vocabulary will increase. Good luck!