A lot of more advanced level books teach seemingly unconnected lists of words together, and it's often hard to think of a way to engage students with the topic. This is one way which I've found to be successful, with connected or unconnected groups of words.
Unconnected Words Example
Give students 6 - 16 words (on the board, or better still on cards so they can move them around). The example below is from a proficiency book.
Students discuss which word ...
- has the most difficult spelling
- has the most difficult pronunciation
- is the most useful in conversation
- would score most points in scrabble
- would score most points in an exam
- could sound romantic in the right context
- could be used in an argument
- could help you get a job
- is the least likely to be used by the students
Obviously you can add/remove from this list as appropriate.
Connected Words Example
The same activity works even better with a connected list of words. This is a discussion I always do with lessons on animals.
Which animal ...
- is the friendliest?
- is the most / least intelligent?
- is the most useful?
- lives the longest?
- is the most dangerous?
- is the best pet?
- is the best to eat if you are hungry?
For a connected list, you can minimise preparation by getting students to write the words on the cards themselves - either from your dictation or them brainstorming.