Out of season lesson plans

28 content based ESL lesson plans for beginning through intermediate students

Activities for Summer School ESL
Teaching summer school is often a challenge because the range of English language ability and grade levels in a single class can be very broad. You may find yourself with a mix of students who are not literate in native language with those who are. Second graders may be placed with 5th graders; non-English speakers with intermediate English language learners.

Back-to-school ESL Ideas
Help your English language learners develop pride in their heritage with these Back-to-School ESL ideas.

Christmas in France
"Joyeux Noel" to all of you who want to learn more about Christmas in France. This lesson can be taught in an ESL, mainstream or World language classroom.

Christmas in Mexico
This holiday season promote peace and appreciation for the diverse cultures in your school by taking advantage of the natural resource that is in your classroom. Begin with this lesson on Christmas in Mexico.

Effective Back-to-school Nights
Represent the diversity of your school's ESL population with this low cost suggestion on how to put together an effective 'Back to School Night.'

Festivals of Light Around the World
The diversity in many classrooms provides a starting point for children to begin to understand and value the many distinct cultures of the world. What better way to do that than to feature a winter unit on light festivals from around the world. Teach your students about the cultural traditions in France, Sweden, Thailand, Philippines, India, Egypt, Holland, and Mexico. More light festivals will be added so keep checking back.

Groundhog Day in Punsxutawney, PA
From its beginnings in Germany to the lights, camera and action of Hollywood, Groundhog Day has been celebrated in Punsxutawney, PA on February 2nd for more than a century. Read the history of this tradition, look at Phil's predictions for the last 100 years, and find interesting sites for your English language learners.

Growing Flowers
Welcome Spring with this lesson on growing flowers for your young English language learners. Teach students to record observations in a journal as they watch their plants grow from seedling to flower.

Happy New Year 2011
Join the 2011 New Year's Eve celebrations in Scotland, Philadelphia, Japan, and New York City. Teach your students about some of these unique celebrations.

Harvest Festivals Around the World
Harvest Festivals have been held as long as people have been sowing and gathering food. Show your students how people all over the world celebrate the harvesting of a good crop.

How Weather Affects Our Lives
Cold winter weather in the Northeast region of the United States provides an excellent opportunity to teach a unit on weather to my ESL students.

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue
Help your English language learners understand the role that Columbus played in American history with this thematic unit for Columbus Day.

Let It Snow!
Snow provides a real reason for beginning ESL students to use their English skills. Here is a sample lesson plan for grades K-3.

Lincoln's Birthday: February 12th
Introduce the concepts of slavery and the Civil War when studying this famous American President.

New Year's in Japan
December and January are a great time to have your students share their heritage with the rest of the school population.

President's Day: George Washington
Have students celebrate George Washington's on President's Day, February 19th. This is also a good time to teach about the first U.S. flag and the American colonies. Teach students to sing Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Pumpkin Carving for K-2 Students
Children love Halloween and your English language learners are no exception. They usually have little experience with celebrating Halloween the way we do in the United States and will love this lesson on carving pumpkins.

Salute to the Flag
Flag Day is on June 14th. Celebrate it in your classroom with activities for English language learners of all ages. Your students will enjoy this unit on the American flag.

Santa Claus Around the World
Even though your English language learners may not celebrate Christmas, they are fascinated by the many Santa Claus legends. This lesson explores the different gift-giving customs around the world.

Say "Hello" to the World
World Hello Day takes place in November. This day is an opportunity to celebrate world language learning with all of your students. And the celebration does not have to stop with the November celebration. Ask students who speak another language to teach classmates how to say "hello" "peace" or "welcome." This to foster appreciation of world languages and cultures and builds positive self esteem.

Signs of Spring
Spring is in the air. Teach your English language learners how to identify the first signs of Spring. Have them track birds and the butterflies on their journey North.

Snow Similes
Understanding how poets use words to paint pictures is a concept that can be taught to young students. The key is to start with an easy simile that is very visual. The combination of a big snowstorm and hands-on materials made this lesson successful.

St. Patrick's Day Shamrocks
Use St. Patricks's Day to give your students an opportunity to learn and use figurative language in English.

Sunflowers are recognized by most young students. Teach a lesson about growing plants and add some of these great sunflower activities,

Valentine's Day Hearts
Have a heart! Use Valentine's Day to give your students an interesting opportunity to learn and use figurative language in English.

Wearing of the Green
Add interest to St. Patrick's Day with these downloadable word puzzles of varying difficulty.

Will the Pumpkin Sink or Float?
Teach a lesson on sinking and floating in the fall and use pumpkins to tie it to Halloween. This lesson also provides your English language learners with practice in estimating and in predicting outcomes.

Winter Puzzles
Got the winter blahs? Add a few games and puzzles to your winter ESL units. This is a good way to reinforce winter vocabulary and to teach younger children to do word puzzles.

Current lesson plans
Looking for something more timely? Here's a list of 42 current lesson plans, including featured and year-round lessons.