Vocabulary for ESL Students – Six Lesson Plans to Get Started

In this post, we will discuss vocabulary for ESL students, and introduce six free lesson plans designed for ESL Teachers. You can use them alone as targeted vocabulary lessons, or as supplementary lessons. Useful in your online or screen-enabled ESL classroom, these lesson plans are guaranteed to enhance your students’ vocabulary. Continue reading to learn about these fun, free lesson plans! 

As an ESL teacher, I promise that your students think their vocabulary is lacking, even if it isn’t. Students are always excited to learn new words because they often get caught up in grammar rules, treating vocabulary as an afterthought. Treat your students to one (or all) of these teacher-led lesson plans! Below you’ll find six options, each featuring useful, everyday jargon. Students of all ages will benefit from extra vocabulary review!

Vocabulary – Body

Practice major parts of the body (head, back, shoulders, knees, etc) and how to use them in simple sentences using this lesson plan on the human body. Ideally, your students will know how to use the present simple and past tenses to complete this lesson, but you could easily skip those activities too. This is a great lesson plan for students of all ages and professional backgrounds.

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Body here:


Vocabulary – Family

Use vocabulary related to immediate family members (mother, father, brother, sister, etc) and practice reading simple family trees. This is an introductory lesson, but would also make a great review lesson for students of all ages and levels. For students that are a bit more advanced, use this lesson plan along with our speaking lesson plan My Family to allow students to use this newly acquired vocabulary in casual conversation!

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Family here:

Vocabulary – Food Introduction

This lesson plan introduces common food items like fruits, vegetables and other staples. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – students LOVE to talk about food, so use your creativity and turn this lesson into a communicative activity. This vocabulary lesson plan also pairs well with the unit Are you Hungry, which is part of Off2Class’s Step-by-Step curriculum.

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Food Introduction here:

Vocabulary – Jobs

Practice vocabulary related to jobs, where jobs are performed and tools with this handy lesson plan that will be especially appreciated by working students. After teaching this lesson, check out our lesson plan A Day at the Office and allow students to put this new vocabulary in use.

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Jobs here:

Vocabulary – Clothing

Even though this lesson plan is geared towards working students, students of all backgrounds will appreciate this lesson plan about clothing. It features clothing-related vocabulary that is a bit more specific (collar, high heels), as well as useful adjectives to describe clothes. This makes it a great vocabulary-focused lesson plan for intermediate-level students! It goes perfectly with the third lesson in our Step-By-Step curriculum on Money and Shopping.

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Clothing here:

Vocabulary – Nationality

Students will love practicing the vocabulary in this introductory lesson plan on nationality! Students will pair countries with nationalities and languages. Ideally, they will have a bit of prior experience identifying countries and flags. If your students are just starting out, try using this lesson along with the first unit in Off2Class’s Step-by-Step curriculum Let’s Start.

Vocabulary for ESL students

Download the lesson plan Vocabulary – Nationality here:

I love to focus on vocabulary in my ESL classroom as it helps all students feel more fluent and better able to express themselves. Take your lesson to the next level by signing up for your FREE teacher account. Use your teacher account to assign homework and access the teacher notes provided for each lesson and while you’re at it, browse our Lesson Library where you’ll find hundreds of ready-to-teach lesson plans. Off2Class has designed these ESL lesson plans with the teacher in mind. With the click of a button, you can have your next ESL lesson ready to go! Leave the hard work to Off2Class, and spend more time teaching the subject you love!

Finally, if you found these lesson plans helpful, please share them with fellow teachers and comment below! We love hearing from teachers like you!


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