Lesson Plan Format - Pre-Reading Activities
Pre-reading activities are what you can do to introduce the topic to your students. The purpose of this is to get your students interested in what they are about to read. Here are some pre-reading activity ideas for your ESL Reading Lesson Plan.
1. Pictures or Photos - Use pictures or photos and have students discuss in pairs or small groups about what is happening. They can guess what the headline of the article will be (if it's a photo of a newspaper article that they will read) as one example.
2. Mind Map - As a class write the topic of reading in a bubble on the board and ask the class, what words do you think of when you see this? Then mind map with their ideas with positive reinforcement "Great idea, keep them coming! Wonderful! etc". Every idea gets a bubble to the mind map, there are no wrong words. This is free association as a class so they are starting to think about what the article may be about.
3. Vocabulary Exercises - Pre-teach important vocabulary that is in the article and then have an activity where students have to use the vocabulary so fill in the blanks worksheets, use the vocabulary in discussion questions, crossword puzzle with the vocabulary and definition.
4. What do you KNOW? - Brainstorm as a class or in groups what the students know about the topic of the reading. (This will go with the post-reading activity of What have you LEARNED?)
5. Discussion Questions - Write a few discussion questions on the board based on the topic and have students discuss in small groups. This will get them thinking about the reading.
Lesson Plan Format - During Reading Activities
During reading it is important to go over the reading comprehension questions before the students start to read so they know what they are reading for. This will help them focus on the skill of skimming articles instead of stopping because they did not understand a word and wasting time looking up every single word in their dictionary. Most common will be reading comprehension questions that come in different forms that students fill in independently first. After they can share with a partner and then go over the answers as a class.
1. Reading Comprehension Questions - Students answer questions about the article and when, where, why, who to show their understanding of what the article is about.
2. True/False Questions - Students read to see if specific sentences or facts about the article are true or false.
3. Fill in the Blanks Close Reading - Transcribe sentences from the article and students have to fill in the blanks.
Lesson Plan Format - Post Reading Activities
After the students have read the article and understood the main concepts of the reading, this is the time when they can use the ideas or vocabulary to show how much they have learned.
1. What have you LEARNED? This pairs with the pre-reading activity of "What do you KNOW?". Students look at their list of what they thought they knew and discuss what they have learned after reading the article.
2. Discussion questions - In groups students discussion questions (not about the reading comprehension but instead about the big picture of the reading). Is this an issue in your country? Why or why not?
3. Mini Debates - If the reading is about a controversial topic, separate the class into two groups (one group is pros and the other group is cons). Students brainstorm as a group and then after pair them up with someone from the opposite group to have a mini debate.
4. Case Study - Make a case study based on the article. So if the student read an article about the environment, then they can go into small groups where they are the environment committee and have to determine what policies they can make at the school to help the environment.
Have fun with the post reading activities! This is where you can engage the students in learning through these activities.