This is an extension of my recent post about the vocabulary exercise I’ve been using with my students.  My process was this:

1. Pick words my students might not know from previous year’s tests.

2. List them in no particular order with student-friendly definitions. Assign students make flash cards using the list and study 10 words per night.

3. Look at the words from each night’s homework.  Take the first two words and decide which one might lend itself to a good image.

4. Google that word, using Google Images. Search through pages to find a good image. Drag it onto the worksheet I’m creating in Microsoft Word.

5.  Some words were difficult to match with images. In those cases I would pair the word with one I could find a better image for.

6. Sometimes the word itself didn’t bring up very rich images. In the case of contribute, for example, after finding nothing useful, I thought about a student raising his or her hand to contribute to a discussion, so I googled “student raising hand.”

At first I chose the most obvious images.  Then as I saw how my students talked about the pictures and the words, I started throwing in images and word pairs where the answer was more ambiguous and warranted more discussion.

Here are a few more examples.  They are really easy to come up with if you have a list of words and start googling, and the possibilities are really endless.

In this first one, the idea of connotation came up. The Tasmanian Devil certainly intends to do something, but intend has neutral connotation.  You can intend good or bad. So mischievous was the better answer. This thought process is really important on multiple choice tests.  There is usually more than one answer that has some validity.  Picking the better one given everything else we know about the scenario is the challenge.

Mischievous or Intend?




Involved or regret?




Compassionate or dedicated?



Fulfillment or impartial?




Motivate or reinforce?





Significant or contribute?





[Image credits:

mischievous photo:

regret photo:

compassionate photo:

impartial photo:

reinforce photo:

contribute photo:]

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