Vol. 9, Issue 4, May 2009

Three Ready-to-Go Lesson Plans
Linda Pratt, Mackenzie Bristow, and Diane Garafalo

Linda Platt
Linda Pratt

Ready-to-Go #1
From: Linda Pratt, Rochester Institute of Technology

Kind of activity: Stand up for Syllables

Preparation time:  2 minutes

Intended student population:  beginner, although all levels might enjoy it

Lesson goals and objectives: to identify the stressed syllable in words with suffixes

Time limit: 10-15 minutes (depending how many words you use)

Materials: Clear Speech 3rd edition, chairs (preferable, since there is some movement), other word lists with suffixes

Activity instructions:
Using multisyllabic words from Clear Speech (Chapter 5), set up chairs in front of the room for as many syllables as are in the word. 

Have that number of students sit in the chairs. 

Say a word (e.g. reduction) and, proceeding from the remaining students left to right, have the student sitting in the chair for that syllable stand up. 

Repeat with other words with the same number of syllables. 

Repeat with other words with the same suffix but more syllables…what is the pattern?

Repeat with other words with different suffixes…what is the syllable stress pattern for these suffixes?


Ready-to-Go #2

Mackenzie Bristow
From: Mackenzie Bristow, Elmira College

Kind of activity: Speaking Activity

Preparation time:  2-5 minutes

Intended student population:  beginners-low intermediate, any age, 4 or more students

Lesson goals and objectives: Giving directions, describing, listening comprehension, and speaking

Time limit: 15 minutes

Materials: blindfold, a treat (or object like an eraser), and a classroom with chairs and desks. 

Activity instructions:
To start, you will need to review or teach some essential phrases and vocabulary. This may include: walk straight, step to the right, step to the left, and bend down.  It is also important to introduce the concept of a small step, big step, and side step. You may want to physically demonstrate the commands.

Optional: draw a map of your school on the board and mark your classroom and the bathroom and have the students in pairs give directions to the bathroom from the classroom.  You may need to supplement the vocabulary list if you want to do this.
Next ask the students for a volunteer.  Blindfold the volunteer. Explain to the students that the volunteer is a car and they are the drivers. Ask the students to stand and quickly move the chairs and desks to create an obstacle course and place the “treat” in a challenging place.

Each student will then give one command to “drive” the volunteer to the correct location and retrieve the treat. The goal is to not let the blindfolded student touch any of the obstacles.  If they do, you have to change the student or start over again.   You can repeat the activity giving every student a chance to be blindfolded depending on your class size.


Ready-to-Go #3 - MY Life

Diane Garafalo
From: Diane Garafalo, Oswego City School District

Kind of activity: Writing & speaking using graphic organizers

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Intended student population:  All language development levels, grades K-12. I have used this with beginner level high school students as well as higher grade level elementary students.

Lesson goals and objectives: Students will express different aspects of their lives
1. Writing short phrases describing 3 areas of their lives: at home, in the general classroom & in ESL class
2. Designing a flag representing their lives
3. Sharing what they wrote and designed with the class

Time limit: 30 minutes

Materials: Activity Sheet, pencil, colored markers or colored pencils

Activity instructions:

1. My Life: Use a variety of phrases to describe yourself in these three situations.  What are your interests and hobbies? Who are your friends, family members? Think about how is your life the same and different in each of the three settings?

2. My Personal Flag: Draw a picture of your personal flag.  What will it look like in order to symbolize your life in the three (3) areas of: Home and Family, My Classroom, and My ESL Classroom. For example, if you enjoy playing an instrument, you might include a picture of that instrument.  If you enjoy sports, include a picture of that sport.

3. Share your life and your personal flag with the class in a short discussion.


Linda D. Pratt is a speech-language pathologist who is currently an adjunct instructor in the English Language Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY.  She has taught pronunciation, different levels of conversation, and conversation and culture.  She is also a certified trainer in the Compton P-ESL accent modification program.

Mackenzie Bristow is currently the Director of the ESL Program at Elmira College, NY. Her interest in the relationship between language and culture has inspired her to spend time with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, join an all-Spanish speaking dance troupe, spend a year in Finland, three in South Korea, Wwoof in Australia, learn Laban Dance Notation, and ultimately pursue a career in Applied Linguistics. Her research interests include cooperative education, instructional technology, and micro-language planning. She is also the proposal chair for the 2009 NYS TESOL Conference.

Diane Garafalo is a K-12 ESL teacher in the Oswego City School District, Oswego, NY.  Diane has been teaching ESL for nine years. Diane is NYS certified in TESOL and Secondary English, and she is currently attending Le Moyne College for additional certification as a School Building Leader. Before becoming an ESL teacher, Diane was a Human Resources and Training Manger in the private sector.


If you'd like to share your lesson plan, please send it to us at: dialogue@nystesol.org.