Lessons for ESL Preschoolers: Having Fun With English

Page content

The Colors of the Rainbow

ESL lessons for preschoolers should teach them important preschool skills or words that they will need to know in everyday life as a kid. To teach ESL students the English words for their colors, you can make a huge outline of a rainbow on butcher paper or a large piece of tagboard. Then let kids finger paint each section of the rainbow in the appropriate color at the same time, calling out the name of the color each time they touch the paper with their fingers. You should hear a chorus of “Red! Red! Red!” as students finger paint the first section. This repetition will help students to remember the words for the colors of the rainbow. Then put colored circles around the room in all of the different colors, call out the name of one color, and encourage the preschoolers to find all of the circles in that color. Glue all of the circles onto the correct section of the rainbow, and continue this activity with the remaining colors.

Animal Sounds

Most preschoolers know the different sounds that animals make (although different languages may interpret those sounds differently, so be open to sounds that don’t sound like those you are used to). To teach them the English words for these sounds, post pictures of various types of common animals, e.g., dogs, cats and horses on the board, and let students provide the word that they use in their native languages to name those animals. Then say the English name of the animals and have them repeat the words after you. You can then hand out a paper with pictures of the animals on it, and have students work in groups to identify the animal as you say its English name. As a fun activity to review this concept, you can put on some music and call out the names of animals randomly, encouraging students to dance or walk like that animal. For example, they might drag their knuckles on the ground, pretend to climb a tree, or mime eating a banana when you call out “Monkey!”

Follow the Leader

This lesson is a good way to review the meaning of common action verbs, such as run, jump, climb, crawl, and walk, as well as prepositions, such as over, under, around, and through. Arrange the preschoolers in a line behind you. At first, you will give directions to “climb over the box” or “walk around the desk,” and the students will follow your lead. Once the students become familiar with this process, you can let them take over, with one student giving directions and the rest of the students following them. See this article for some other fun ESL review games.

These ESL lessons for preschoolers are fun ways to teach them basic concepts that ESL students will need later in life. Best of all, the kids will love the learning process!

This post is part of the series: ESL Lesson Plans By Age

Although ESL lesson plans all share similar components, the ages of the students in the ESL classroom can impact the content and process of the lesson. This series includes articles on ESL lesson plans for various age groups.

  1. Fun Lessons for a Preschool English Learning Class
  2. ESL Lesson Plans For Elementary School Classes