Activities to Teach Students Multiple-Meaning Words With Pictures

Multiple-meaning words can make learning the English language a bit challenging for students. As they try to understand the meaning of a word in a particular context, they may realize that it has different meanings in other contexts. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings when they are reading, writing or listening to a text.

In this article, we will explore some activities that can help you teach multiple-meaning words to students using pictures. These activities can make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging for students and help them master the use of multiple-meaning words in different contexts.

1) Picture based descriptions

One of the most effective methods of teaching multiple-meaning words is to use picture-based descriptions. This activity requires students to describe what they see in a picture while using the different meanings of a word. For example, if the word is ‘bank,’ students may describe the picture as ‘a place where we deposit money,’ as well as ‘a sloping land alongside a river.’

To facilitate this activity, you can pick pictures that show various meanings of a word or have students choose their own pictures to describe. When this activity is done in groups, students can learn from each other and gain a deeper understanding of the multiple meanings of the words.

2) Picture-based matching game

Another fun activity to teach multiple-meaning words is a picture-based matching game. In this activity, students need to match pictures to the appropriate multiple-meaning word. For example, you can present a picture of a ‘bat’ flying through the sky, along with a picture of a ‘bat’ used in a baseball game.

To make this activity more challenging, you can add more pictures that represent different meanings of the same word. Students can either work individually, in pairs, or in groups, depending on the size of the class.

3) Picture-Vocabulary flashcards

Picture-vocabulary flashcards are an excellent tool to teach multiple-meaning words. These flashcards display a picture depicting one or more meanings of a word, and the corresponding definition is written on the back.

Teachers can use flashcards to introduce new multiple-meaning words, or students can create their own flashcards in class to help them remember the meanings of the words. This way, students can practice their language skills and learn new words efficiently.

4) Picture-based storytelling

Storytelling is a great way to teach multiple-meaning words. In this activity, students take turns telling a story that incorporates one or more multiple-meaning words. For example, a story might involve a ‘bank’ robbery or a ‘ball’ that keeps bouncing.

By using pictures to help the students visualize the different meanings of the words, it becomes easier for them to incorporate them into their storytelling. This activity can be done individually or in groups, and students can create their stories or work with pre-existing ones.


These activities to teach multiple-meaning words with pictures can be used in a variety of settings, including formal classrooms or homeschooling environments. These activities provide students with a visual representation of the different meanings of the words, making them more relatable and easier to understand.

By using pictures as a teaching aid, your students can develop their language skills while having fun at the same time. These activities also encourage students to collaborate and participate actively in the learning process, enhancing their overall learning experience.

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