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Tier 1 Words: Vocabulary & Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Tier 1 vocabulary is comprised of words that most children use in everyday speech. This lesson provides teachers with Tier 1 words and activities for classroom use.

Tier 1 Words:Vocabulary and Activities

A strong vocabulary is essential in practically every academic discipline. Because of this, it's important that students have a good understanding of Tier 1 words and how they are used. The following activities have been designed with young learners in mind, but can also be used with ESL (English as a Second Language) learners of any age.

Tier 1 Word List

This list is a small sample of the thousands of Tier 1 words people use in everyday speech and writing. The words have been grouped by category to make it easier to incorporate them into the activities. Keep in mind that Tier 1 words are generally simple and do not express complex concepts or abstract ideas.

  • Objects
    • Car
    • Chair
    • Bike
    • Table
    • Pencil
    • Computer
    • Phone
    • Airplane
    • Book
    • Piano
  • Animals/People
    • Cat
    • Dog
    • Lion
    • Elephant
    • Fish
    • Father
    • Mother
    • Sister
    • Brother
    • Aunt
  • Places
    • City
    • Street
    • Sidewalk
    • Park
    • Museum
    • Zoo
    • Bank
    • Supermarket
    • House
    • School
    • Restaurant
  • Emotions/Feelings
    • Happy
    • Sad
    • Angry
    • Tired
    • Excited
    • Nervous
    • Confused
    • Hungry
    • Scared
    • Surprised

Fill-in Fun

  • Give each student a copy of the word list or display it in the classroom so that everyone can see it.
  • Print out the following text and give one copy to each student. Alternatively, you can read the text aloud and have students write down their word choices.
  • Remind the students that the story doesn't have to be true; it just has to make sense.

When I woke up today I felt very _____. My _____ told me I should feel _____ because it was the beginning of summer vacation. After eating breakfast, we got in the _____ and went to the _____. The _____ is my favorite place to go in the summer. We spent the whole morning there and then went to a famous _____. It was so much fun! After that we went home. I was very _____. I played with my _____ until it was time for bed. I was too _____ to sleep because my _____ told me that tomorrow we will go to the _____. I can't wait!

  • After students have finished filling in all of the blanks, ask for volunteers to read their paragraph to the class, or collect the papers and read a few aloud yourself. This can lead to a class discussion about how people use different words to describe situations.

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