Free Lesson Plans & Resources (No Prep!)

lesson plan resources

In this post I would like to share what I think are some of the most useful English teaching websites on the internet.  All these sites are free and the resources you will find there are pretty much ready to use straight away.

I have chosen these sites because I think they will enable you to deliver really great lessons, and hopefully inspire some new ideas for ways to take advantage of the huge amount of work that has gone into creating these ESL teaching resources. The resources I like best tend to make use of technology in some way and may even be entirely web-based so you will need to make sure you will have an internet connection during the lesson or make provisions to download any web-based content to your computer beforehand.

There are others but my favourite to download YouTube videos is with www.savevid.com but you should be aware that doing so may contravene YouTube's usage policy.

There is also a plugin for the Mozilla Firefox browser called Download Helper which I have been using a lot recently to capture video and audio from around the web including YouTube.  An icon sits right on your browser tool bar so its really easy to access whenever you find media you want to download and it offers various file type options.

 


Breaking English News

I have mentioned this site in another post but it is so valuable it is worth mentioning again.

The idea behind this website is to provide lessons based on current events within a day or two of the event occurring.  This makes your lessons highly relevant and interesting.  Students can go out into the world and hold a conversation about these events in English immediately and thus they will feel that your lessons are extremely rewarding.  As these events are being talked about in daily life anyway, students may already have formed opinions about them in their own language which they cannot express in English.  This creates a need which your lesson can satisfy leaving your students feeling splendid.

On www.breakingenglishnews.com the lessons are free.

  • Each lesson has 26 pages of printable activities / handouts.
  • There is a new lesson every two days.
  • The lessons alternate between pre-intermediate and intermediate (plus).
  • All lessons are based on stories currently in the news – as the world’s news breaks, teach it.
  • All lessons are also downloadable PDF format.
  • There are 30+ online quizzes for each lesson.
  • Listening files can be downloaded in mp3 format or subscribed to via a podcast.
  • Classroom handouts are readily reproducible.
  • There are graded listening tasks with each lesson.
  • Thousands of teachers and students say they love using the news lessons.

 


Lesson Stream

Lessonstream is a selection of lesson plans – or rather, recipes – which serve to demonstrate how teachers can make use of the explosion of good materials we all now have access to via the internet.

Beautifully organised with great attention to detail, there is something to interest everyone here.  Visit the link and have a browse, I guarantee you will be impressed.

Lesson topics range from the record auction of the painting The Scream, to Google's Street View privacy concerns and the Mr. Men!  They modern, interesting and ready to use with little preparation.

www.lessonstream.org


Lyrics Training

LyricsTraining is an easy and fun method of improving your foreign languages skills, through the music videos and lyrics of your favorite songs.

It is always very popular with students and can be very useful for improving listening skills.  It isn't a lesson plan as such unless you prepare a worksheet based on the lyrics but it is a great tool to share and encourage your students to use.

After searching for your favourite song, you can choose a level (Beginner, Intermediate or Expert).

As the song plays you have to type in the missing words.  The beauty of this tool is the functionality and interactivity.

The song automatically pauses at the end of a line if you missed the word, and restarts as soon as you write it in.  You can repeat the line using the backspace key and press tab to get the answer.
You can play without signing up but if you create an account you can see all the songs you have played before and keep track of your scores against a leaderboard.

Enjoy!  www.lyricstraining.com



Learning Chocolate

This is an amazing site for learning vocabulary!

It is designed to help learners memorize English, Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin) or Spanish vocabulary in an easy, fun way that really works.

The exercises use pictures, sounds and games to make learning a new language as fun as enjoying a piece of chocolate!

To get started, choose your language preferences. Then choose any vocabulary topic (there are hundreds of categories!) from the homepage to start learning new words. After reviewing the vocabulary, you can play up to 5 fun games to see what you memorized! The first 3 are matching games to help your memory. They will help you match the new word to its meaning with pictures or its pronunciation. This is much more fun than long, boring vocabulary lists! The other 2 games help you learn to spell the new words so that you can read and write them in your new language, too.

http://www.learningchocolate.com

 


Jing

Jing is a free screen capture tool with amazing possibilities for use in the classroom.
It is probably my favourite tool and I urge you to start using it yourselves right now!

http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

If you are anything like me you might find it hard to get started at first, but trust me.  A little time spent playing with it and experimenting with different ways of implementing it into your teaching life is well worth the investment.

I recently used it while proof reading an essay.  I was able to quickly highlight errors (literally highlight them on the text) and make suggestions (Jing records your voice too), then just emailed a link to the 3 minute video back to the student (the video is stored online).  It saved time for me, got the feedback over to the student more quickly, and provided better quality feedback to the student overall than some scribbled red pen notes in the margin would have done!

It is really simple to use, but it's slightly more challenging to work out how to use it.

In the most simple terms possible.  Jing records the screen of your computer.  Including any sound or movements you or the computer make while Jing is recording.  Imagine placing a picture frame over your computer screen and everything that happens inside that frame is recorded.

Watch the overview video here

Ideas for using Jing in the classroom

1.  Answers of homework task.  Play the video while students check their own answers and you circulate to observe and assist.

2.  Vocabulary review.  Make a short list of vocabulary that students are struggling with, capture the list with Jing and record yourself pronouncing the words, discussing emphasis, pointing out spelling etc.  Students watch it as homework and refer back whenever they want.

3.  Read a chapter from the book, show the PDF, highlight keywords as you read.

4.  Record a Powerpoint presentation with your voice talking about the slides.  Easier to share a link to the video than email a large file.

http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html


If you find any of these resources useful please let us know in the comments box below.

We would also love to hear about any other materials or resources you use.

Happy teaching!

 

 

3 Comments:


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