Topical lessons for Kids

Here is a basic lesson plan for those who teach younger learners. You may prefer pictures and flashcards if you work offline. Those who are using Zoom and whose learners can spell out words, can offer a labelling activity using Zoom annotation tools or chat box. You may use one of online tools, of course. For instance, I found and adapted a nice matching activity on, thanks to my friend digital_edu_4u, who recommended that website.

1. Introduce the topic of the lesson using realia related to New Year and Christmas. Use the objects that are obvious for your kids. For example, something like ‘mistletoe’ might not be familiar to Russian children, which makes it irrelevant and unnecessary to teach.

2. Ask the kids to name and describe these objects using words like colours, simple adjectives and say whether they have such things at home. Every time you spot that they have difficulties, prompt them and clarify the words.

NB Learners need to understand the meaning of new words before you ask them to drill and focus on spelling.

3. If you want to revise the spelling, set up a matching activity using either flashcards or an online labelling task. If you want to practise reading, let the kids match the words and the definitions. Whatever the activities are, move from receptive to productive ones gradually increasing the level of challenge.

4. Play some memory games like ‘Flash’, ‘What’s missing’, ‘Keyhole’, ‘Pelmanism’ and other flashcard activities of your choice. To generate more ideas you need to consider your learners’ preferences. I’d also recommend watching Carol Read’s video.

5. Give out a worksheet or ask your kids to make smaller flashcards so that they can play the same games in pairs.

6. When they are ready, you can ask the kids to listen to a piece of music and imagine a story in which the words might appear. They may shut their eyes and try to see it as a film playing in their mind. Prompt them with some important components of a story such as the beginning, e.g. One day…, main character name, place where the story is happening, linkers and so on.

7. In small groups or whole class, have them share their ideas and help them tell their story. Stronger students can try to write their stories while weaker ones can draw illustrations to that.

Useful Resources