Lesson Plans

An archive of all activities and lesson plans on English Advantage by date order. All content is original and developed by me, and I try to give credit for anyone who inspired me or whose ideas I borrowed. You are free to use any lesson plans or activities in any way you like, to print out, download, modify, or link to anything on this site. However, please do not post any of my lesson plans on your site or present any content as if it was your own original work. Thanks.


Inversion With the Conditional

The thing I hate about teaching obscure grammar points is that students don’t understand why they need to know this. So when it came to teaching the conditional with inversion (without if), as in “Had I known it was your birthday, I would have sent you a card”, I really felt it had to start with a text. And that text had to be formal in nature. So this activity uses a welcome letter from a fancy hotel. Then students get to write their own rules.
Objectives

To introduce students to the …Continue

Writing Good TOEFL Paragraphs Quickly

A great method from the Michigan Guide for writing good body paragraphs quickly and easily with 6 simple questions.

Reading Strategies: Questions

This lesson aims to teach students a strategy for reading better by constantly formulating questions as they read in order to keep their minds focused on the meaning of the text and to keep motivation up.
Objectives

To teach students a technique they can use to read more effectively
To help students understand texts better
To make students more autonomous

Materials

A newspaper article or use  this fake article
A short text, preferably one page or so.
Post-It Notes
Another text, one that they need to read for class anyway.

Warm-Up
Ask students to discuss in pairs or small groups what …Continue

Culture Shock

This is a discussion lesson that focuses on cultural differences in terms of polite and impolite actions. While the materials were designed with Kazakhstan in mind, they are easily adapted to any nation or culture.
Objectives:

To develop fluency
To discuss culture and cultural differences. To encourage students to deconstruct their culture and learn about other cultures.

Note: The Discussion questions worksheet was designed with Kazakhstan in mind so you might want to change it to reflect the culture of your students or for a multicultural class you might want to make it …Continue

New Vocabulary Done Right

I hate teaching students new words. Finally, I developed a model that I really like that brings together all the theories of how students should be introduced and start to practice words. It also involves all four skills. This lesson plan explains the model and provides example materials, but presumably you would adapt them to your own classroom.

Flashcards to Teach Vocabulary

This is less a full lesson plan than a sequence of activities for flashcards that get gradually more challenging.  This activity is a good follow-up to the presentation stage–it starts with simple word recognition and builds up to matching with definitions. The sequence also provides lots of repetition so students can remember the words. Finally, students also walk away with flashcards that have the words on them so they have instant study aids!
Objectives

To revise words that have just been learned
To review words that students learned earlier
To introduce students to the …Continue

Draw Something

A simple and fun way to review vocabulary based on the popular iPhone game.
Objectives

Review vocabulary
Introduce students to flashcards

Materials

Blank cards (I cut pieces of printer paper in half). You can write the vocabulary words yourself on them or make the students do it. If you do it yourself, you need enough cards with all the words for every two students.

Warm up
Put students in pairs. If you haven’t prepared cards yet, give students cards or half pieces of paper. Have students write one vocabulary word on one side of each card.
The Game

Students …Continue

9/11 and Park 51

A discussion lesson about Sept. 11th and specifically the decision whether or not to build a Muslim community center/mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. While I usually avoid controversial topics like religion and terrorism, I did find that students were respectful and certainly interested in the topic.

What a Wonderful World

A lesson plan for beginners on the classic song by Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World” that promotes learner autonomy by breaking students into groups and giving each group a different assignment. The tasks focus on vocabulary, writing, grammar and comprehension.

Design Your Living Room

This lesson teaches or reviews the names of living room furniture by getting students to design their perfect living room. It could easily be adapted to other rooms in the house as well.

Write Your Own Scary Story

Students analyze a scary story to find out the key elements. Then they write their own scary stories. A perfect way to integrate writing into Halloween. And reading when students can share their terrifying stories with each other!

Argument Essay with Opposing Arguments and Rebuttals

Teachers at my school dread teaching the opposing argument and rebuttal because students struggle with it so much. The first time I taught this it literally took a week to get them able to make an outline. So I developed this set of worksheets, handouts and lesson plans to teach students to write rebuttals into an argument or opinion essay. It’s been a huge success! After this lesson, students will understand why we write opposing arguments, how to use them, and the relationship between the opposing argument and support. This lesson is for more advanced students and will take around 3 days.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Is there any better place to turn to start a discussion of a holiday than the Charlie Brown special about it? This comprehension and discussion lesson plan has students watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, discuss the true meaning of Christmas, and also be introduced to traditions like the Christmas pageant and snowball throwing!

Christmas

A Christmas lesson plan that discusses the American Santa Claus and his counterparts in other parts of the world. Since I teach in the post-Soviet Union, where Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, brings presents on New Year’s Day and has some other differences, I thought a comparison of Kazakhstan’s holiday traditions and American traditions was a good introduction to Christmas. But of course, you could compare American Santa Claus and Sinterklass or other variations in your students’ cultures.

Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus

A reading lesson plan on the famous editorial about the existence of Santa Claus, “Yes, Virgina, There is a Santa Claus”. Students discuss whether they believe in Santa Claus and what Santa Claus symbolizes. It’s great for introducing Santa and the spirit of Christmas and it definitely crosses cultural boundaries as every culture has imaginary characters.