Reporting Verbs – Free ESL Lesson Plan

Our new ESL Lesson Plan, one of five in our Reporting Verbs series, introduces students to various common reporting verbs, including say, tell, advise, confess, and more. Reporting verbs convey the action of speaking, and understanding their usage in both direct and reported speech is essential to everyday communication. Students will certainly benefit from this engaging lesson that includes clear descriptions, examples and practice opportunities. Keep reading to find out what to expect and how to teach it virtually or in-person.

When should you teach this lesson on reporting verbs?

This ESL lesson plan download on reporting verbs is aimed at students with advanced proficiency levels (B2 level). To fully grasp the material, students must be very comfortable changing verbs between various tenses, including the perfect, simple and continuous.

You can download the lesson plan here:

We recommend lessons 2 to 5 within this same series as follow-up lessons.

How to teach this lesson on reporting verbs

This lesson begins with an introduction to two of the most common reporting verbs: say and tell.

  • If say is followed by an indirect object, it is introduced with to.
  • Tell is often used to give orders and instructions, and it is always followed by an indirect object, without to.

Many students require a lot of practice with say and tell, so take time to allow students the opportunity to practice. Afterward, move on to the slides introducing reporting verbs that indicate specific meanings. Some examples include: demand, yell, whisper, advise, invite. The slides are playful and illustrated with many pictures and fun examples to help students understand when to utilize each reporting verb!

If you are looking for even more information on how to teach this lesson plan, be sure to download a free Off2Class account. You will gain access to teacher notes that will guide and prepare you. 

Don’t forget about our free lessons!

If you enjoyed this ESL lesson plan download, there are 149 more available here. The lesson plans are designed to save you time. Also, let us know what kind of lessons you are looking for from Off2Class. More than anything, we love hearing from our teachers. So leave your general suggestions, lesson plan ideas, teaching philosophy or anything related in the comments below. Happy teaching! 


  • Simona says:

    January 29, 2023 at 6:43 am

    Thank you!♥️

  • Paula says:

    January 3, 2024 at 9:58 am

    Thanks a lot!!

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