What's Your Favorite Food?

What's Your Favorite Food?

by Judie Haynes

Combine content area learning with the development of oral language skills. When your English language learners conduct a survey, they have a real reason to interact with all of their mainstream classmates.

Surveys provide English language learners (ELLs) with the opportunity to learn how to ask questions and to develop new vocabulary. Oral English and social skills are further developed when ELLs report their results to their ESL class. Furthermore, mainstream students become involved in the language acquisition of your second language learners. This lesson was part of an ESL unit on food and nutrition.

Lesson topic

Favorite foods

Proficiency/Grade level

Advanced beginning to intermediate ESL; Grades 2-8

Goal and Standard

Goal 1, Standard 3: To use English to communicate in social settings: Students will use learning strategies to extend their communicative competence

Content Concepts and Skills

Background Information

Knowledge and familiarity with American food; Vocabulary for different kinds of food: pizza, hamburgers, chicken, spaghetti; macaroni, hot dogs

Materials or Resources

Survey form, clipboard


This lesson was designed to be covered during three days of instruction (30 minutes each day).

1. Survey taking should not be taught as an isolated skill but should be connected to a content area unit. Download the Favorite Food Survey that was used for a lesson on food.

2. Develop the vocabulary needed for the survey. Help students form the question in ESL class and have them practice asking the survey question, “What is your favorite food?”

3. Give each student a clipboard, a pencil and the survey form and have them practice asking each other the survey question and recording their responses.

4. Explain to students that only one name goes in each box on the survey. The person interviewed writes their name in the box above their response.

5. Take students on a short trip around your school to find people to interview. This gives them practice so that they can go back to their classrooms and survey their classmates.

6. Students then bring in their completed surveys and report the results to their ESL class. Review expressions such as “more than” “less than,” the most,” and “ the least.”

7. There are several ways this information can be used. Students can:


Use the Blank Survey Formto create other surveys for students. Have students survey their classmates' favorite snack, ice cream flavor, fruit, vegetable, TV show,or singer. Appeal to the language level and age of your students.

Activity Downloads

Note: To view the classroom activities, you must have Acrobat Reader intalled. Acrobat is a free application available from Adobe Systems.

PDF fileFavorite food survey (2k .PDF)

PDF fileBlank survey form (2k .PDF)

Related Links

Teaching about Nuitrition
Thematic units tend to unify instruction in literature, writing, science, and social studies. Since this unit on nuitrition is "hands-on" and can be taught through cooperative groups, your newcomers can participate at their own ability levels.