It’s hard to constantly come up with activities that tie into teaching English. Here are some tips for how to make lesson plans for your ESL-English as a Second Language-class.
The Lesson Plan
Most lesson plans require three main parts. You want an engaging activity, the actual lesson, and a follow-up activity. The engaging activity serves to get everyone in your class interested and attentive. You will usually want to have some sort of physical activity. For example, if you are teaching children, try playing a game of Simon Says. The engage activity should only last a few minutes, and it should be fun.
Your actual lesson can also be a fun activity. For example, a friend of mine wanted to teach a children’s class a lesson on fruit. She started off the class by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, and then she incorporated the book into her main activity. She gave the kids handouts with a picture of the caterpillar and the fruits mentioned in the book, and she told them to label all the fruits and color them. After they had finished labeling, she had the kids cut out the caterpillar and five of their favorite fruits. Then, she hole-punched the cut outs and had the kids string them all together. Once they were done stringing their caterpillar and fruit cut outs, the kids took turns sharing with the class their favorite fruits.
This activity included elements of visual, kinesthetic, and audio learning. And, it allowed the kids to practice speaking their English all while having fun.
The follow-up activity should be something that allows you to evaluate how well your class has learned the lesson you just taught. An example of a good follow-up activity is called Concentration, which is basically a memory game. The teacher has a box with at least five rows and five columns, and each square contains a word that is covered by a piece of paper. Students form teams and each team takes turn picking two squares. The object of the game is to pick matching squares, and the team that makes the most matches wins. To turn this into an ESL game, all you need to do is have a theme. For example, if you taught a lesson on homonyms, then have your students match homonyms, such as “ate” and “eight, “I” and “eye,” and so on.
If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for ESL games, then all you have to do is look online. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of ESL resources online. One of the best sites, however, is Dave’s ESL Cafébecause it offers ideas from teachers all over the world. It also provides tips for what works and what does not work, as well as job forums and a place to post your resume.
Other great resources include Boggles World, Discovery Education, and Crossword Puzzle Games. These sites allow you to create customized crossword and word games that you can use for your ESL classroom.