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ESL Worksheets: Describing Nature Collocations

Level: ESL Advanced
Objective: practice collocations related to describing nature
Brainstorm nature related words and introduce the idea of collocations:
Ask your students to make a list of 5 words related to nature, such as wind, mountains, clouds, rivers, trees, etc. Write the word ‘clouds’ (or any other example) in the middle of the board so that you have enough space in front of it. Ask your students to describe clouds and the ways they move across the sky. Elicit adjectives and verbs such as:
fluffy, heavy, low, dark, layered, scattered clouds
clouds float, drift away, rise, form, hover
Tell the students that these words collocate, or sound ‘good’ together, and are better remembered in phrases as they are often used in each other’s company.
Pair work:
Hand out the worksheet. Students find the word that goes well with the words listed (1-14). Monitor and take the exercise up in the open class.
Group work:
Students choose another nature related word and come up with ‘company’ words that can be put before or after the assigned word. Alternatively, students create additional combinations with the words from the worksheet. Monitor and read out loud the combinations students wrote.
Possible combinations:
murky, muddy, stagnant, still, flowing, rushing, bubbling, or turbulent water
magnificent, surreal, golden, breathtaking, glowing sunset
Student Worksheet: Describing Nature Collocations
  • sun
  • lakes
  • trees
  • clouds
  • flowers
  • waterfall
  • grass
  • shore
  • forests
  • sky
  • mountains
  • view
  • path
  • leaves

1. There are large, heavy, lumpy, torn, patchy, ragged, wispy, scattered, gloomy, or fluffy .

2. There are majestic, barren, inaccessible, inhospitable, pristine, snow-capped, or steep .

3. The can be rocky, sandy, or gravel.

4. A can be narrow, grassy, muddy, trodden, or winding.

5. can turn dry, crunchy, brittle, wilted, pretty colors, or different shades.

6. can be emerald, turquoise, pristine, crystal clear, rippled, calm, transparent, still, or teeming with fish.

7. can be fragrant, wilted, freshly cut, artificial, annual, perennial, or wild.

8. A can be breathtaking, surreal, obstructed, unobstructed, intoxicating, stunning, or panoramic.

9. There are lush, rain, dense, dark, unwelcoming, spooky, boreal, deep, or enchanted .

10. can be lush, green, vigorous, sparse, thick, freshly mown, bent, or knee-high.

11. There are evergreen, deciduous, mature, bare, blossoming, or shady .

12. The can be blue, azure, sullen, starry, clear, overcast, low, or pitch black.

13. The can be bright, golden, blazing, burning, rising, setting, or hidden.

14. A can be cascading, picturesque, peaceful, deafening, powerful, or impressive.

Saturday, February 21, 2009 AT 11:15 PM
armaan altaf khan said:

Monday, April 04, 2011 AT 1:14 PM
tofiga said:

Saturday, August 25, 2012 AT 12:15 PM
misseve said:
very useful vocabulary, excellent job English gateway!

Saturday, November 28, 2015 AT 12:10 PM
Kiko said:
- I like your blog for posts just like this one. I'd be sad to see it end. It's nice to see this side of you and your photography apart from Nordica. Perhaps we will bump into each other in Vancouver sotemime while on a photo mission. :)

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ESL Worksheet Describing Nature Collocations.pdf

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