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ESL Lesson Plan Activity for Teaching Skills in Listening and Following Directions

Updated on January 24, 2013
This is the Floor Plan of My Apartment
This is the Floor Plan of My Apartment | Source

Objectives of the ESL Lesson Plan

The objective of this ESL lesson plan is to encourage listening and following directions in English. The lesson also reviews key vocabulary related to the home as well as prepositions. This activity is intended for upper intermediate to advanced students.

ESL Activity 1. (10 mins)

Elicit from the students the names of different rooms in a house or apartment. Write these across the top of the board. Then for each room ask them to tell you the names of some of the furniture that is in that room. Across the top of the board you may have a list like this one.

Living room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Balcony.

This is typical of a list you would have in China. Everyone lives in an apartment and each apartment has a balcony. You can add other words to their list if you desire.

Under kitchen you may have a descending list that includes things like; refrigerator, sink, cabinets, stove, oven, etc. List any word that they say as long as it fits whichever room you are talking about.

This would also be a good time to review prepositions such as; across, beside, behind, near, in front of, between, below, on the other side of... etc.

ESL Activity 2. (10 mins)

Draw the floor plan for your own apartment. The purpose of this is to model the next activity for the students. You can either do this yourself or you can have one of the stronger students help you with it. If you choose to have the student help you with this then give him the marker and describe your apartment to him one room at a time. While you are describing the apartment the student needs to draw what you are telling him to draw. It would also be a good idea to write out some sentence structures you are using as you describe your apartments.

For example you might tell the student a sentence like; In front of the sofa there is a coffee table.

Write this sentence on the board as you say it. Then below this sentence write the sentence structure.

In front of __________ there is ___________.

This will encourage the students to use similar sentence patterns in the next activity in this ESL lesson.

Activity 3. The Main Activity of the ESL Lesson Plan (30 to 40 mins)

Divide the class into groups. Ideally four people should be in each group. You want at least three groups. Each team will need paper and pen or pencil to draw with. Each person in the group has a different role.

The Describer

The Drawer

Competition Describer

Competition Drawer

For the first part of this activity you will have the describer talk to the drawer and describe his own apartment. The drawer of course will draw what is described to him. During this part of the activity the other two members should be watching and listening. Remind them that they should try to only talk in English.

When everyone has finished take up the floor plans that they have just drawn. Divide the board into three sections (or as many sections as you have teams as long as space permits). Give a marker to each of of the three Competition Drawers and have them stand at the board. The Competition Describers in their teams should stand immediately behind them.

Explain first that the Competition Describers must describe the floor plan they are given and that they are not allowed to show it to the person who is drawing. They are also not allowed to talk in any language other than English. Shuffle the floor plans so that each team gets a plan other than the one that their team drew and give a floor plan to each of the Competition Describers.

When they have finished you should again collect the floor plans. Review things with the students and ask the people who originally described their apartments if they recognize which apartment on the board is theirs. Hopefully they will.

Once again this ESL lesson plan is intended for students who are upper intermediate to advanced. At this level many of the students will state after the activity that it is very difficult. This is fine. This is an opportunity to encourage them. Point out to the students how well they were able to explain the floor plan in English or to understand the floor plans description in English. Show them how close they came to the original. None of these will be perfect but they will probably be close.

Ways to Modify This ESL Activity.

This activity can be made easier. Instead of describing an apartment have the students describe one room in their home such as their bedroom.

It can also be made more difficult. You can have the students describe their neighborhood, including were their apartment is located as well as other buildings such as barber shops, bookstores, drug stores, coffee shops, tea houses, etc. However I would not attempt this with a large class. This would be better for a very small class. Perhaps two to four students.

Copyright Notice

© Copyright 2012. Wesley Meacham- This article is copyright protected and is the property of Wesley Meacham. All images in this article, unless otherwise stated, are the property of Wesley Meacham. Please do not copy this article in whole or in part without giving credit to the original author.


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    • Wesley Meacham profile image

      Wesley Meacham 5 years ago from Wuhan, China

      Thank you all.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Very useful and interesting activities. Group activities are the best to involve students. Voted up.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Activities are sound good. USEFUL and VOTED UP.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Wesley, this is a very useful activity for listening and following directions. I always use drawings like yours when I am teaching directions. I especially like your activity of getting everyone involved in the competition. This type of activity can be adapted for upper beginning and lower intermediate students. Voted up and sharing!