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Listening for the gist | ESL/EFL Lesson Plan

The purpose of the lesson: Listening for the gist
Size of the class: 40 students
Age: 11-12 years old
Level: Elementary

This is a listening lesson that focuses on listening for the gist. The students try to understand the meaning even if they don’t understand every word the teacher is saying. The students try to pick up keywords and other clues in order to guess the meaning.

The teacher starts the lesson by showing the students the below picture.

ESL lesson plan | Listening for the gist

Mine, it’s a big picture containing 21 smaller pictures (the teacher can also use individual pictures). The lesson flows as a big guessing game. The vocabulary from the picture can be reviewed at the beginning of the lesson if that is necessary.

Teacher: It shows us the time.
Students: Clock.

The teacher can do the lesson even without showing pictures (especially, for students at more advanced level). The teacher also can assign a student to read the statements.

Clock – It shows you the time
Chair – you sit on it
Good night – You say it before going to sleep
6 (six) – The grade you are in
School – The place you go to study
School bag – You put your school books in it
Pen – it is used for writing
Board – Teachers write on the ...
Student – this person doesn’t have a job, he just has to study
Kitchen – the room used for cooking
Bedroom – you sleep in this room
Grandparents – the oldest members of a family
Breakfast – the meal eaten in the morning
Brush my teeth – You do it every day after you wake up
Soccer/Football – a very popular game played with ball
Sunday – the day you don’t go to school
Monday – the first day of the week
Elephant – an animal that has a big nose
Eyes – we can’t see without them
Hand – it has 5 fingers
Homework – schoolwork that has to be done at home

I have done this kind of lesson with my students before and they love it. Giving rewards for the students who guess the meaning first is always a good idea. The teacher can also make the lesson as a competition (divide the class in groups and give the reward to the group that guesses first; it is a more engaging method).

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