Free ESL lesson plan | Teaching months of the of the year

Functional language | 60 - 90 minutes

As students embark on their English language learning journey, familiarizing themselves with the months of the year is essential, enabling them to navigate conversations about events, holidays, and personal milestones.

This free ESL lesson plan is tailored specifically for beginner-level students to learn the months of the year. Our approach incorporates board work, ESL activities, and games designed to be engaging, effective, and easily adaptable to any classroom setting, all without the need for expensive materials or extensive preparation.

If you need more ideas on teaching this topic, check out our post on how to teach the months of the year.


Calendar quiz 

Explore and learn the months of the year using an English calendar, discussing holidays, seasonal changes, and practising pronunciation.

Before the class, make sure you have a large English calendar that displays the months. Ideally, the calendar should include images, holidays, or seasonal markers that provide context for each month.

If you don't have a large calendar, you can create one using chart paper and markers or project a digital version onto a screen.

Begin by showing the calendar to the class and explaining that we will use it to explore the months of the year. Ask students if they are familiar with the concept of a calendar and, if so, what they know about it. Encourage them to share their thoughts and experiences with calendars and use their native language if needed.

Start with January and work through the months, one at a time.

For each month, clearly pronounce its name, ask students to repeat it after you and add it to the board. Point out any holidays, special events, or seasonal changes that occur during the month. Encourage students to share relevant information about these events or changes.

Use of the board

Begin by writing the question "What month is it?" on the board. Try to elicit the correct response and add it to the board.

If you did the calendar warm-up activity, there should already be a list of months on the board. Drill the months a few times from the board, moving your finger to each one as you step through.

ESL board work for a beginner lesson on teaching the months of the year.


Stopwatch challenge: Month chain

Improve students' familiarity and pronunciation of the months of the year by creating a "chain" of months in a circle and challenging them to beat their own time.

Explain to the students that they will participate in a fun activity to practice the months of the year by creating a "chain" of months. Mention that you will time them, and they will have to try to beat their time later.

Have the group stand in a circle and nominate a student to start the round. Activate the stopwatch when that student says the first month of the year. The student to their left must quickly say the following month, followed by the next student to their left, and so on.

When the students reach the last month, stop the stopwatch and record the time on the board.

Have students repeat the month chain activity several times, attempting to beat their previous record with each attempt.


  • Record the time on a coloured card and pin it up somewhere in the classroom. When revising the activity on future days, the students can continue to beat this time.

Birthday line-up

Practice the months of the year, numbers, and speaking skills by having students arrange themselves in order based on their birth month and day.

Before you begin, ensure there is enough space in the classroom for students to move around and form a line.

Explain to the students that they will need to arrange themselves in a line according to their birth month and day using only English months and numbers to communicate.

Encourage students to help each other find their correct position in the line by repeating their own birth month and day in English.

Once the students believe they are in the correct order, check to ensure their accuracy. Starting with the first student in the line, have each student announce their birth month and day.

Sorted: Months and seasons 

Students work in groups to arrange month and season flashcards, fostering collaboration and understanding of the months of the year and their corresponding seasons.

Before the class, print out flashcards for each month and season. Check out our free ESL flashcards for months and seasons. Print out one set of cards for each group, and print them 'playing card' size(9 cards per sheet). Refer to our printing instructions if you are not sure how to do this.

Inform students that they will work in groups to arrange the month flashcards under the appropriate season flashcards.

Divide the students into small groups (3-4 students per group) and provide the groups with month and season flashcards. Make sure each group has enough space to work comfortably.

Once all groups have completed the task, review the correct answers with the class.

Classroom games

Whiteboard relay: Spelling the months of the year

Two teams of players race to the board to spell the months of the year.

Begin by dividing the group into two teams. Divide the board into two halves and create a numbered list at the bottom of each side. Be careful to make it manageable for your students to reach. 

Have each team form a queue at the back of the classroom and give markers to the students at the front.

When the game begins, a student from each group will run to the board and write a month. When they finish, they must return to their team and pass the marker to the student at the front of the line.

The race ends when one of the teams has added all of the months of the year to the board.

Tally up the scores at the end, giving a point for each correctly spelled month.

Printable versions of all resources are available to members. View a sample
Language Levels

Adult Beginner
Beginner +
Elementary +
Upper Intermediate
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