Odd One Out: Food Vocabulary

Students choose the odd one out and explain why in this easy online-friendly food vocabulary activity for your beginners!

Let’s face it, some food and drink vocabulary words are pretty universal: banana, kiwi, lemonade, coffee, etc. They’re the same all over the world. But what about words like milk, spicy, crunchy, eggplant!? Gets pretty tricky pretty fast… Here we propose a simple Food Vocabulary Activity for your beginner students. Use this during your lesson plan, at the beginning of class for a warm-up, or at the end of class as a review. It works great both online and offline, for groups as well as individual students!

How it works

Share the PDF or print a copy for your students. Each card contains 5 words or phrases. One of them doesn’t fit the rest.

Students must find the odd one out and explain why. Simple!

For example: “Onion doesn’t fit because it’s not a fruit.”

Play as a group or let your students try to find all 9 answers individually. Then, check the answers as a class. Give a point for each correct answer (the odd one out and the explanation).

Here is the list of answers for the A1 sheet:

1:  Onion – it’s not a fruit;

2:  Drink – it’s not a meal;

3:  Pan – you don’t use it to eat, you use it to cook;

4:  Garlic – it’s not sweet;

5:  Mustard – it’s not made from milk / it’s not a dairy product;

6:  Pasta – it’s not a typical breakfast food;

7:  Mushroom – it’s not a dish;

8:  Knife – it’s not an appliance in the kitchen;

9:  Cake – it’s not a drink.


Here is the list of answers for the A2 sheet:

1:  Eat – it’s not a cooking verb;

2:  Tablecloth – it’s not a person;

3:  Carrot – it’s not usually red;

4:  Milk – it’s not an alcoholic drink;

5:  Rinsed – it’s not a type of preparation;

6:  Crunchy – it’s not a a taste / it’s a texture;

7:  Kitchen – it’s not a place to eat out;

8:  Steak – it’s not a type of meat / it’s a piece of meat;

9:  Piece – it’s not a container.


Ideas to take it further:

  1. Set a time limit!
  2. Have students add elements to each box after the mystery has been solved.
  3. Students make their own odd one out boxes and challenge the class.


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Ian Kime

Ian Kime

I have been teaching English abroad since receiving my CELTA certificate in Poland in 2018. I enjoy tracking my individual students’ development but love having lessons with big groups! Now that I teach online, I am accompanied by my sidekicks Olaf, Mała, Pirate and Bandit on a regular basis.

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