The last few weeks of ESL classes can be a bit difficult. The books are finished, the exams are taken and we all just wait for the holidays to start. Here is a lesson plan for YL about the Sun and different ways to stay safe in the summer.
If there is one thing that I really enjoy about teaching ESL is the freedom of choice of topics. It is true that during the academic year, we have to follow a schedule, finish course books, focus on exam preparations… But every now and then we are given an option to prepare our own class about anything that we want. This is one of the best moments to adapt the classes to our students’ or our own personal interests!
As summer is coming, I decided to test my students’ science knowledge about the Sun, its benefits and detriments on our health and different ways that we can protect ourselves from it. This class consists of three downloadable materials: a lesson plan, a reading worksheet and an example project. Go to the end of the blog to download the materials! This lesson plan can be taught on its own or it can be treated as an introduction class about the summer holidays.
The class starts with a lead in that looks into different stages of the Sun during the day. Students are asked to use their previous knowledge of naming times of day (morning, afternoon, evening and night) and are introduced to sunrise and sunset. It is also a good moment to see if your learners use the right prepositions with the times of day!
The next part of the class checks the students’ understanding of science and using big numbers in English. Learners give their own definitions of the Sun and guess the age and the distance from the Sun to Earth. Check the answers by reading authentic material, an extract about the Sun, adapted from Britannica Kids. This should make your learners more interested in the topic and will also show them that despite young age and beginner level, they are already able to understand real materials and maybe it will motivate them to start doing their own research in English.
The class then continues into the speaking part. Students are asked about the advantages and disadvantages of the Sun on our health. Write the ideas on the board and ask your learners about different ways in which we can protect ourselves from the negative effects of the Sun. Write all of the ideas down, as they will be useful for the final part of the class – the project about staying safe in the summer.
Before you give out all the project materials, you can present your YL with an example poster. This should give them a better idea of your expectations and will definitely cut the time of project making. Once the projects are done, feel free to display them in the classroom, or ask your students to take them home and use them as a reminder of staying safe while being outside!
You can download all the materials right here!