Teaching Infinitives: A Free Introductory ESL Lesson Plan

Teaching infinitives can be a daunting task, but it certainly does not have to be. Off2Class has prepared a free lesson plan that is sure to help you to teach this more advanced topic. Please note that before teaching this lesson, your students should have a thorough knowledge of verbs.  It is also helpful to teach the “Intro to Gerunds” lesson before teaching this one. You can find this free lesson plan download here. Keep scrolling down to locate the lesson plan download and to learn more information about teaching infinitives. 

What are infinitives? 

When teaching infinitives it is especially important to know what they are. Infinitives are the base form of verbs. Infinitives are often formed by placing the word “to” and then following it with a verb. For example, “to buy/to work/to shop”. Keep in mind that a bare infinitive does not have the word “to” preceding it. Sometimes English speakers use infinitives as objects in sentences. Infinitives can also be used as a subject at the beginning of some sentences; they can be used as adverbs to modify verbs as well. Finally, they can be used as adjectives and/or complements to adjectives. As the lesson progresses, you will introduce the different uses of infinitives to students. Though teaching infinitives seems difficult, this lesson makes it fun and clear.

Teaching infinitives: why is it important?

People commonly use infinitives after adjectives to gives opinions. This is of obvious importance for English Learners especially. As English Learners gain knowledge of verbs and vocabulary, they must be able to use them in different contexts. So students need to learn to use infinitives correctly. This lesson is useful for English learners because it allows them to practice expressing themselves. Practicing infinitives also arms English Learners with the skills to describe other people and/or situations. 

You can download the free lesson plan here: 

What will students do in this lesson? 

When teaching infinitives you will want to encourage active participation from your student(s). Throughout the lesson students will complete gap fill exercises, matching activities and picture description tasks. You will also students several questions about themselves which will help them work on speaking and sentence formation. This can be hard for students. So, it’s important that you work to elicit information from your students— it is not easy for all students to think of scenarios quickly. You might want to provide them with examples during activities to increase engagement.

What I like about this lesson most is that it is methodical and instructional. Yet it is quite engaging for students as it allows them to express themselves while learning new concepts. I noticed that this lesson provides a great opportunity for students and teachers to learn more about one another.

Before heading out, I recommend creating a free Off2Class account (it requires no payment information) to access the useful teacher notes that accompany this lesson plan. This will make teaching infinitives even easier and more effective. Also, Off2Class would love to hear from you in the comments below. Did you enjoy the lesson plan? What other free lesson plans do you want to see in the future? Please let us know as we look forward to connecting with teachers just like you!

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