What to Do if your Lesson Plan Flops
Posted by UNI-Prep Institute - 11 Sep. 2017 - Teaching Articles

Sometimes it does not matter how much you plan a lesson it just might not work. There are so many things that you cannot predict in an ESL class. You might have students who are at varying levels inside of one level. Therefore it is always a good idea to be prepared in the event that your lesson flops.

Below are some tips to help you know what to do if your lessons flops.

Prepare back up activities

It is important to have fall back activities ready that you can rely on. You should some extra activities prepared in the event that students are not into your lesson or that it is too easy or too difficult. Having extra activities ready will keep your ESL students busy and make you appear in control. These activities could be anything; basically any activity that includes your aim for the lesson but doesn't feel like learning.

Prepare time fillers

When a lesson doesn’t last as long as you thought it would you should be prepared with extra activities. A lesson might not last long enough because there are less students in the class than planned or maybe because the material is a review. Therefore you should always have some extra worksheets ready. If you have some time left over you can also play a game.

Great time filler games

There are some great time filler games that are good to keep in your back pocket. They require very little planning and students usually really enjoy them. Below are three examples of such games.

The Board Race -  Split your class into two teams and create a relay race; students have to run to the board and write the words they have learned during your lesson. You can use this at the start of class to review vocabulary.

Pictionary - This popular team game challenges ESL students to draw a word on the board and have their team guess what it is.

Hangman -   It is a great one to play to kick-start a lesson or to keep students entertained in the final 5 minutes once you've wrapped everything up.

There are many other games that you can use as time fillers. The best thing to do is to mix it up. Never use the same games back to back. Variety of activities is great for ESL students.

You will find things that work for you and your students and things that don't. The point is to be prepared for anything in your classes. Try not to look unprepared. You should always be in control of your class. Don't feel pressured into doing activities with your students that you don't feel comfortable with. It is important that whatever extra activities you have planned that they connect to the lesson for that day or that class.

Beginner, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-intermediate, Advanced,
Young learners (ages 1-4), Primary school (ages 5-10), Middle school (ages 11-14), High school (ages 15-18),
General English, Business English,

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