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How To Teach ESL Classrooms Using Our Plans

Simplicity...

…is the core idea behind our classroom lesson plans. As teachers we were dissatisfied and overwhelmed by the standard lesson plans given to us by the schools we worked in. 

They were full of homogenous text, tables and hard-to-read fonts. Most of the time they explained what to do but not how to do it. 

It seemed like words such as goals, outcomes or target vocabulary were more important than the art of teaching. 

We kept asking ourselves:

Why are these plans so boring and hard to read??

In rebellion to this outdated system we’ve decided to create our own style of lesson plans, which is, above all, teacher-friendly 🤗.

Instructions are simple step-by-steps, everything is colour-coded and all text is down to minimum.

We hope you’ll find it useful.

So here’s how to use it:

We’ll use one of our favourite TED talks as an example. The plan is called Inside The Brain of a Procrastinator and you can find it here.

1: Metadata

See the metadata to get an idea what you can use this plan for. In this case the plan is for more advanced English speakers, it’s a long one and can be easily split into 2 lessons. The age category isn’t about sensitive content but about the suggested intellectual level of the plan. This one is about procrastination so it might not be understood by most 13-year-olds. 

Language category tells you roughly what language skills will be practiced during the lesson. In this case it’s speaking and writing. It’s a given that this TED Talk plan is based on a video, sot we left listening out.

2: Categories

Each plan is divided into sections. Their structure is usually the same, warmup in the beginning, after that an introductory exercise, next exercises for different language skills and finally homework. If there is no homework in the plan it’s because usually the last exercise can double. 

Each section tells you roughly how much time it’ll take. The actual pacing is, of course, up to you.

3: Exercises

Exercises are laid out as a clear step-by-step. Blue is used for things you may say to your students, orange is used for things you may write down for them. 

Note that examples are also colour coded orange but aren’t meant to be written. We added them mostly for you to make exercises more clear. 

This warmup takes up to 20 minutes because of the number of questions we added to the discussion. In reality you could skip the discussion entirely, or, if students find it especially engaging, dedicate more time to it.

4: Optional Exercises

There are plenty of group exercises/projects throughout our plans. That’s because we strongly believe that students learn best via cooperation. 

An optional exercise usually significantly extends the lesson time without furthering the lesson’s objectives, nevertheless it could be really fun for students to do, so we left it as an option. Our plans are full of these 😉.

4: Links

Our plans include plenty of links to pictures, videos, online games or other websites. Sometimes these links won’t work due to content being removed from the web. If you find such a link please let us know and we’ll do our best to update it. 

For some videos, especially TED Talks, we included multiple links in case one of them is disabled.

And that's how you do it 😉

If you think we’ve missed anything in this guide, please contact us and we’ll happily update it.

Our classroom lesson plans are divided into 5 sections (all names are links):

Speaking Plans

Themed Plans

Grammar Plans

TED Talk Plans

Short Films Plans

 

 

We invite you to also check out our full online ESL lesson plans library here.

 

There’s also plenty of helpful articles on our page which could give you some unique ideas for games and exercises. Check out our blog here.