KS2 vocabulary – Fun vocabulary marketplace lesson plan

What's included?

PDF lesson plan

Key Stage



Years 3-6


Imagine if words had a value and children could buy or sell them. This KS2 vocabulary lesson plan from award-winning teacher Adam Parkhouse involves a flexible vocabulary bartering activity in an imaginary marketplace.

The activity encourages and inspires children to be outrageous and courageous in their use of vocabulary.

The idea was sparked by the city of Dictionopolis. This features in Norman Juster’s fantastic 1961 novel The Phantom Tollbooth. If you haven’t shared the book as a class, this activity will still work just as well.

In the story, main character Milo reunites with a lost love of learning and curiosity, an allegory to which any teacher can relate.

KS2 vocabulary learning objectives

  • Look at new words in a different light
  • Know that words have different values and classes and increase knowledge of these
  • Take turns to elicit information
  • Expand vocabulary range

Starter activity

Do words have a value? Are some words intrinsically worth more than others? If they had a price, which ones would be the most expensive and which ones would be found in the ‘yellow sticker’ section?

This is the premise of the Word Market in The Phantom Tollbooth, and fundamental to getting children’s minds racing when thinking of possibilities.

Ask children to create a shortlist of valuable words, worthless words and mid-range words. Continue to create the image of them as tangible products – would some words come with special deals? Would some come in bulk? Discuss these ideas as a whole class.

Adam Parkhouse was a silver winner at the 2017 Pearson Teaching Awards and is a senior teacher at Cantley Primary in Norfolk.

KS2 vocabulary lesson plan
KS2 vocabulary – Fun vocabulary marketplace lesson plan

You'll also receive regular updates from Teachwire with free lesson plans, great new teaching ideas, offers and more. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Which sectors are you interested in?

By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions and privacy policy

Explore teaching packs

Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Pie Corbett Ultimate KS2 Fiction Collection
Fire up KS2 pupils' imagination with this collection of 20+ fictional stories, written by literacy expert Pie Corbett. Each ... more
21 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Non-Fiction Collection
Use Pie Corbett’s non-fiction texts to inspire your KS2 pupils to get writing. Each resource contains an original text in ... more
6 x resources
Pie Corbett KS2 Poetry Collection
Inspire KS2 pupils to be creative and express themselves with this pack of Pie Corbett poetry. Each of these Pie Corbett Tal... more
7 x resources
WAGOLL classroom resources
WAGOLL Packs from Real Authors
Peer inside the mind of award-winning children's authors and help pupils understand how to create engaging characters, capti... more
10 x resources
Art KS2 inspiring medium term plans
Art KS2 Inspiring Medium Term Plans
Get pupils' creative juices flowing with these expert medium-term art plans for KS2. Each resource consists of a full half-t... more
6 x resources
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Magical Harry Potter Teaching Ideas
Spark pupils' imaginations with these inventive and exciting teaching ideas, all themed around the wonderful world of Harry ... more
11 x resources