ESL lesson plan Phonics

You are a new TEFL, ESL, TESOL* teacher and landed your first teaching English job? Maybe you teach English in China and we, TeachDiscoverChina, have helped you to come to the promised land (aka China). At least we think China is one of the best countries to teach English: The pay check, the students, the respect of teachers, the demand etc are just too good to be ignored! This post is about ESL lesson plan Phonics.

*There are quite a few acronyms around but basically they all mean the same. To teach English as a foreign/second language to non-native speaking students.

Why should you want a lesson plan?

But once you are infront of your class, you might feel the nerves! That’s how I felt, when I was teaching English for the first (couple of times). Personally I think, it shows you actually care, you want to teach and you want to do it the best possible way you can do. (aka Try your best!)

To do this you need a plan! And in case of teaching English, this means you need an ‘ESL lesson plan’. In this series, we from TeachDiscoverChina, will post ESL lesson plans for your reference. It doesn’t mean you have to copy or just take our word but sometimes it helps to copy or just to see how other English teacher conduct their classes. The lesson plan we post here, are detailed lesson plans. It is especially useful when you are new to teaching English. Once you are getting into the swing of things, you might adopt a more simpler ESL lesson plan as the detailed plan takes acutally some time to prepare. You can use our lesson plan as a template, modify as you like, we give it to you for free, no strings attached.

Teaching different age groups

Most examples we post here, are teaching English to (very) young learners. This means teaching English to kids between the age of 3 to 12 years. Each age group has its special requirements/needs and perks. Some teachers like to teach young students, some don’t. But if you do, you need to be aware of the challenges ahead. So, please have a look at how we like to plan our TEFL lessons.

Today we have an ESL lesson plan for a Phonics lesson. According to Wikipedia: “Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate phonemes—in order to teach the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns that represent them.”

Detailed ESL lesson plan Phonics

Date9.5.Student names*Judy Jenny Barbie Justin Rebecca

* all names are for reference only


Date9.5                                   Lesson: Phonics B

Teaching content: Unit 11                     Teacher*Amy

Today’s LessonPronunciation: ou, ow

Target language / wordshouse, mouth, cloud, cow, owl, clown

Target language / sentencewatch out for the house in the clouds.

     The clown sat down on the cow.

HomeworkListenAudio on page 26 of the textbook, 5-10 minutes per day.                        

Read: Words and sentences on pages 26-27 of the textbook, 5 minutes per day.

Write: 1. Copy the letter combination on page 26 of the textbook 3 times.

          2. Copy words 3 times.

Preview & ReviewPreview: Unit 12

Review: Unit 11

Teaching objectives
WordsBe able to understand and memorize the words. Try to spell and write.
SentenceBe able to describe the sentences.
Songs/StoriesBe able to sing the song: how’s the weather?
FocusThe pronunciation of the letter combinations. And the students’ spelling ability, Jenny’s (student) discipline.
Teaching aids preparationsFlashcardspicturesdice
Whiteboard/Smartboard (PPT etc.) design


Classroom processTeacher’s Behavior, ActivitiesTeacher’s Classroom LanguageAim for students’ output
1. Warm-up1.GreetingGood afternoon,guys,how’s the weather?

How are you?

Are you hot?

What are you wearing?

What day is it today?

Good afternoon, Amy

It’s rainy.

I’m good.


I am wearing my…

Today is Thursday.

2.Activity/chant +


I think today is cold, so let’s dance, can you dance?

sing and dance with the song: how’s the weather.

t do the action of frog jump, ask ss what’s this? frog, who can spell frog? fr br pr. let’s review the words in unit 10.have a dictation.

Cheer ss up + review:

 pr, br, fr

prince, bride, fruit, pretty, brown, frog

2.Introduction1.Set up the questionsT pause the video on the board, and point at the cloud, ask ss: what’s this? can you draw it?Introduce the word: cloud

let ss think about the word.


3.Presentation1.Words1.t draw a cloud on the board, and tell ss it’s a cloud. write the word on the board, and teach them the pronunciation, then erase the d, ss can say: clou, then erase the letters: cl, ask ss the sound of the “ou”

Teach ss the sound of “ou”, let’s meet more words.

T point her mouth and ask: what’s this? then she write the word on the board, let ss spell.

T draw a house on the board, teach ss say the house, and write the word, ss can spell the word. because they know how to read ou.

T make the sound of cow, and say: what animal it is? then write the word, ss know how to read c, then ask them the pronunciation of “ow”.

T draw a clown on the board, let ss understand better.

T show the picture of the owl, and write the word on the board. let ss read and spell by themselves.

2. point and say, ss should do the phonics and read the letter combinations and the words correctly. the flashcards, ss can read all the words.

Ss be able to say/spell and understand the words.
2.Sentences1.t show the pictures on the board, let ss look at the pictures and tell t what do they see.








bird house cloud cow clown

Where is the clown? he is on the he standing? no, he is sitting down.

Where is the house? what are the birds talking about?

2.t let ss imaging with her TPR and t will draw the pictures on the board to let ss understand the meaning and guide ss to make all the words they know together and say a sentence.

3.then t write the sentences on the board. Teach the ss how to read the sentences.

4.let ss circle the words in the sentences.

Ss be able to say and understand the sentences.
4. Practice1.Activities for words1.t draw, ss guess and say.







They can say the word:cloud.

2.put the right words into the right circle, each circle represents one letter combination.

house, mouth, cloud, cow, owl, clown






3.     t shows the words quickly and let ss say the words.

Eg; t will use the shapes to cover the words, and move the shapes quickly.

4.     who can fill in the blanks on the whiteboard.

Eg: _ _l   h_ _se    cl_ _d

5.t point the words on the board, check ss one by one.

Ss can write the words.
2.Activities for sentences1. show the pictures, let ss say the sentences by themselves.

2.move the words and make them a sentence.t write many words on the board, let ss combine them into the sentences.










The clown sat down on the cow

3. fill in the blanks. they should write the key words in the blanks.

Eg: The_____ sat down on the ____.

4.point and say the sentences on the board, check ss one by one.

Ss can say and recognize the sentences.
5.Production1. MethodsFlashcards, tprs, phonics, handwriting, fill in the blanks. show the pictures and painting. let ss develop their imagination and describe the things they look. have a dictation.Ss can learn this unit well.


6. Conclusion1.Summarize the key points and time for smart board/bookThe pronunciation of owl is difficult.

ow      ou

Let ss open the book and do the practice.

Ss can finish the practice.
7. Say the Goodbye songReview song/chant/story/


Use the cards and pictures to review again and now we can have a dictation.

So, class is over, everyone say bye-bye to Amy ok?

Ss will say bye to t.


Parents presentation

/Encourage Ss

Last week Justin recorded his homework and posted it to the teacher / school group and it was fantastic, but the other students did not do so. Please remember everyone, to do their homeworkFeedback to ss and they will do the homework.

So, that’s it for our first lesson plan post. Please let us know what you think. Any feedback is more than welcome.

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