Names of Days, Months & Holidays: Beginner ESL Lesson Plan

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The Calendar

Objective: To teach 3rd grade ESL students the names of the days of the week, the months as well as various holidays and numbers.

Prior Knowledge: This lesson plan builds on the prior knowledge the students have with numbers and the understanding of a calendar. Prior to creating a calendar, brainstorm with the children the facts they know already. Create a vocabulary list on the board of words they already know or are familiar with (i.e., they have heard before).

Assignment: For this assignment, each student will need 12 pieces of large art paper, 12 pre-printed 35-block graphs, pencils, crayons and/or makers, glue.

  • Begin by handing out the graphs. Give students one page at a time. Explain how each day of the week is printed at the top of the each column. Model this for the students. Then begin filling in the numbers. (Note: you may want to do this beginning with the month you are already in until the following year or create a calendar for the coming year, which the students can give as a gift to someone when they are done.) Once the students have finished one month, go to the next and continue in succession until each child has all 12 months complete.
  • Hand out one large piece of art paper per student. Have students glue the first month (usually January) to the bottom half of the page. At the top-half of the page, allow them to draw a picture for that month. A theme for the year can be decided before hand, such as flowers or animals.
  • Once the calendars are finished, the pages can be bound together with either staples or using a whole punch with rings.

Once the calendars are complete, have each child pick their favorite month. Have them show that month on their calendar, sharing why it is their favorite month, perhaps even telling a little about their picture. Have them write a few sentences about what they learned.

An alternative to having students draw is to have a multitude of magazines that they can cut pictures out of to create collages. Also, the calendars will last longer if the pages can be laminated after they are complete.

Assessment: Assess the students on the five strands of language arts.

  • reading - Can they read the days of the week, months, numbers over 10?
  • listening - What do they hear when others talk about their calendars?
  • speaking - How well can they explain their favorite month?
  • writing - How well did they do writing about what they learned?
  • viewing - How well were they able to understand and interpret the art of the other students?

Calendar Bulletin Board

Scaffolding on the lesson above, which will take a few days to accomplish, create a monthly bulletin board for the class. This will be interactive with laminated month names, days of the week, numbers and holidays or special days that will be easy to add and remove from the board. At morning circle, have one or two students find the names that go on the board for that month. Have them lead the class in saying the names. Add holiday/special days as they come up. Special days can be an anticipated school function or perhaps student’s birthdays.