In English as a Second Language, there are many ways to bring in the culture and background of your students. Using this background knowledge is important in creating a safe and interesting environment where students can enjoy learning English. This free, ESL lesson plan is designed for a beginning to intermediate ESL classroom and is based around the use of ABC books in English Language Learning and relating the students own culture and language to their English Language lessons.
Objectives: To develop English language skills by using the child’s own language to reinforce and describe English vocabulary, also to develop theme based writing skills, by having the child write children’s ABC book using their native language as the vocabulary word and defining it in English.
Introduction (How today’s lesson connects to previous lessons): Previously we have been working on guided and class readings of picture books from various cultural backgrounds
Materials: Paper, pencils, markers/crayons, construction paper, stapler
Previous day’s homework assignment for today: none
1. Introduction: Gather students around and read Jambo Means Hello, by Muriel L. Feelings. And then discuss the characteristics of the book. What do you notice? What is it about?
2. Introduce assignment: Students will each writer their own ABC book using their own language and explaining the words in English. Each book should be illustrated and cover all the letters of the English alphabet
3. Pre-Writing: Modeling as a class, and then in groups, have students brainstorm words to use in their own ABC picture book. Have them cluster ideas to write about, and discuss themes and ideas that follow certain themes. This would be a great time to use webs, clusters, or other graphic organizers. Students should have a concrete list of words and definitions to turn in with their books, as well as an organized theme.
4. Write and illustrate books: Students have the opportunities to put their pre-writing activities into action and create books of their own.
5. Revision: Students will turn in rough drafts. This could be a good time for conferencing with the teacher or to bring in work shopping if necessary.
6. Sharing time: Have students share their final copies of their books in partners. Each person will have to fill out a worksheet about the book they read and what they learned about the language, themes, and culture represented.
7. Wrap up: Reread Jambo Means Hello and discuss what the students have learned about language and themes.
8. Assessment: Students will turn in their books and pre-writing assignments and sharing time worksheet. This will help the teacher see what type of progress students.
This lesson plan can be shortened or lengthened as needed. It would make a great culminating project. This can also lead into great discussions of culture and is a way to introduce personal or cultural history and to help students bring a bit of themselves into the English Language classroom.