This is an updated version of a whole lesson from last year
This year Mother’s Day is celebrated in most countries on Sunday May 12th. This activity begins with the historical background to Mother’s Day, and then explores the strain between the sentiment and the commercialization.
This is suitable for pre-intermediate to intermediate level students and will last about one hour.
Mother’s Day whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets.
Please find a snapshot of this lesson below.
May 1st, May Day, is known in a variety of radically different ways throughout the world. Here we explore 4 ways in which May Day is celebrated.
Firstly a light-hearted singular/plural exercise that will introduce some of the vocabulary to come. Then a short summary of the background to May Day, before a big information gap activity. This consists of a jigsaw reading in four sections. Students in groups of four then share their information to complete a relatively simple task.
After all the intensive reading there follows a fun puzzle concerning flowers’ names, some well-known, some not so well-known (I allow dictionaries if the students are stumped).
Optional writing and discussion activities complete the lesson.
Pre-intermediate – intermediate level, taking 2 hours or more if all elements are included.
May Day whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets, including answer key.
Please find a snapshot of part of this whole lesson below.
This is an updated version of a whole lesson from last year.
The original marathon was first run in ancient Greece, and then revived for the first Olympics in 1896 which were also held in Greece. Inspired by this the city of Boston, Massachusetts decided to stage their own marathon in 1897, and the Boston Marathon has been held every year since then, one of the world’s most iconic races.
This is a whole lesson based on the Boston Marathon. It begins with a Warm-up exercise comparing imperial and metric measurements, then there is some background to the rich history of the Boston Marathon. Finally there is a question/answer activity for the students to carry out in pairs.
This is for elementary to intermediate students, and will take about 1 hour. An additional activity, a short Athletics puzzle, could be used in conjunction with this lesson.
Marathon whole lesson: click here for free downloadable sheets, including an answer key.
Please find a snapshot of the activity below.
Boston Marathon Finish Line.1910. Author: Unknown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is an updated version of an activity from a year ago.
March 17th is not only a day for remembering St Patrick it also a day for celebrating Ireland and its culture, everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day.
This is an integrated skills whole lesson plan, consisting of a warm-up, a background reading to St Patrick, an information gap activity, a quiz, and an optional follow-up writng and discussion. It is for pre-intermediate/ intermediate level and will take about 90 minutes.
St Patrick’s Day whole lesson: click here for free downloadable pdf sheets including an answer key.
Please find a snapshot of part of the lesson below.
This is perhaps an activity better suited to female than male students, but I find even the guys can get into it too.
The book Daddy Long Legs was written by Jean Webster in 1912. It is one of those timeless classics, and also has its animated version and movie versions, one of which stars no less than Fred Astaire.
The whole lesson plan begins with a vocabulary warm-up activity, followed by some background information to both the book and the authoress. Students can then read at their leisure two extracts from the book. These extracts have been abridged and (slightly) simplified, but I believe they remain faithful to the original.
A True/False reading comprehension activity leads into a discussion of the book and related topics. After all the hard work there is a little light relief with a tricky little puzzle which will reveal the ‘identity’ of the Daddy-long-legs.
An optional writing activity completes the whole lesson.
For intermediate – upper intermediate students, taking more than 2 hours if all elements are included.
Daddy Long Legs whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets, with full answer key.
Please find a snapshot of part of this whole lesson plan below.
Cover of Daddy Long Legs
This is an updated version of an activity that was posted this time last year.
It is known in many places as Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday or even Pancake Day, and it is celebrated in many different forms around the world ranging from extravagant carnivals to pancake races.
The date of Mardi Gras is dependent on the date of Easter, and this year Mardi Gras is on February 12th.
This is a whole lesson plan for elementary/intermediate level students and may take about 45-60 minutes. Firstly there is a warmer activity, followed by some background to Mardi Gras and Easter, and then there is an information gap activity for students in groups of three.
Mardi Gras whole lesson plan: please click here for the complete lesson material, including answer key.
Please find a snapshot of the material below:
This is an updated version of a whole lesson plan that was first posted a year ago.
This is a topical whole lesson plan for the celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 14th. It is at a pre-intermediate/intermediate level and will take roughly 1 hour to complete.
Valentine’s Day whole lesson: click here for free downloadable pdf, including answer key.
At first there is a warm-up exercise, followed by a short text giving some of the historical background information to Valentine’s Day.
Then there is an information gap activity involving students in groups of three (trio). Each member of the trio has a slightly (and tantalizingly) different text. This offers a new dynamic to conventional information gap activities in pairs, with an element of doubt as to who really has the required information.
There is also a Valentine’s puzzle to add a light-hearted conclusion to the class, plus an optional writing and discussion activity.
Please find a snapshot of the puzzle below.
It’s not even Christmas yet, but perhaps a little forward planning of our English classes would not go amiss.
A New Year themed whole lesson starts with a warm-up using the knuckle calendar. This is followed by some of the historical background to New Year, while noting that in different cultures New Year can occur on many different days.
There is an information gap for students in pairs based on the celebrations in the center of New York City, possibly the most vibrant and crowded place on the planet at this time, and an optional writing and discussion task.
Finally a light-hearted puzzle with New York continuing as the theme.
For pre-intemediate – intemediate students, taking about 2 hours or more if all elements are covered.
New Year whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets including full answer key.
Please find a snapshot of this whole lesson plan below.
New York City in Winter (NASA)
Even though Christmas is essentially a Christian celebration, the feelings of peace and sharing seem to resonate with people across the globe. Much vocabulary is associated with the season of Christmas, and Christmas provides a great opportunity to do something a little seasonal in the EFL/ESL classroom.
At first there is a warm-up activity introducing some special Christmas vocabulary, which is followed by a short reading text which provides a little of the historical background to Christmas, along with some of the current customs.
Then an activity for a threesome, based around the nativity story. Each member of the trio takes turn to read the nativity story. There is no real difficulty to this activity, it is simply for the students to read together and enjoy and discuss.
Next comes a Christmas quiz with a twist in the tail, and finally an optional writing and discussion session.
Pre-intermediate – intemediate, taking about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Christmas whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets with answer key.
Please find a snapshot of this whole lesson below.
Yesterday may be a day to remember or just one of those ordinary days when not much happened. Either way most students should be able to recall what they did yesterday, and this writing lesson, which focuses on the usage of link words and signposts, is even suitable for students who did no more than sleep and eat the previous day.
Firstly a warm-up activity to introduce the link-words, followed by a sample text, and finally it is down to the students to use the example to write about their various activities of the previous day. After the writing is completed I often have students form reading circles of about 5/6 students in which they read each other’s efforts, making comments or asking questions of the writer if they wish.
For elementary – pre-intemediate students and will take about 1 hour.
Yesterday, whole writing lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets including answer key.
Please find a snapshot of this activity below.