Teaching plurals

Low-resource ESL lesson plan
Low-resource ESL lesson plan
Low-resource ESL lesson plan
45-60 min
Low-resource ESL lesson plan
Print pdf version of this low-resource ESL lesson plan
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This ESL lesson is designed for beginners and focuses on plurals in the English language. Students will learn how to form regular and irregular plurals using the most common rules. This will help them express quantities more accurately.

To begin, we will use a simple boardwork example to introduce the language focus. After that, we will move on to a few low-resource activities that will allow students to apply what they have learned to the world around them. Finally, we will end the lesson with a fun and educational classroom game to ensure that students have a thorough understanding of plurals.

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Classroom activities

Low-resource ESL lesson plan

Use of the board

The students learn how to form the most common regular and irregular plural form constructions.

The board work below covers the different regular plural forms along with a few examples of some common nouns with irregular plural forms. It's colour-coded to highlight possible opportunities to elicit responses from the class and confirm student understanding. If you need to bring this board into the classroom for reference, the TEFL Handbook app gives you offline access everything on this site, plus a lot more.

EFL - ESL Lead-in activity for beginners | Plurals

Low-resource ESL activity

Classroom quantities

Students use the target language for the lesson to answer questions about specific items within the classroom.

Ask the students about the number of specific objects in the classroom. How many chairs, students, teachers etc. Encourage them to answer in sentences and guide them on the correct usage of there's/are:

Teacher: How many chairs are there in this classroom?
Student: There are 16 chairs.

The answer to your questions should be a mix of singular and plural.

Low-resource ESL activity idea

Plural writing practice

For this writing activity, the students will use the target grammar to create sentences about the classroom.

Before they begin, encourage your students to ask you about any vocabulary in the classroom that they don't know. Practise the correct pronunciation of these words as a group.

When ready, have your pupils write six sentences about the classroom using there's/are (Three of each).

Low-resource ESL activity idea

What am I thinking?

The students have to guess which item the teacher is thinking about.

You will describe objects in the room (quantity, location, physical description) while the students try to guess what they are. Use the dialogue below as a guide:

Teacher: There are three of these in the classroom.
Student: Windows!
Teacher: No. They are next to the door.
Student: Books.
Teacher: No. They are small and brown.
Student: Boxes.

Repeat for as many times as you feel necessary, but you might want to save some items for the next activity.

Low-resource ESL activity

My turn

Now the students will take turns giving clues about items that they are thinking about.

We take the basic idea of the previous exercise, but with the students taking turns to play the role of the teacher. While the students are interacting, you should monitor and correct mistakes. You can even turn this into a fun team or individual game.

Classroom games

Low-resource ESL classroom game

Snowball darts: Plurals

Students have to convert nouns to their plural form to earn a throw of the snowball and a chance to win points for their team. 

Draw a circular target on the whiteboard with several concentric layers of different score values. Crush a blank piece of paper into a snowball shape. For each turn, give the student a noun that they must spell in its plural form. If they get it correct, they can throw a snowball at the board. Keep the scores on the board. You can play as an individual or team game. Use the list below to get you started. 

  1. fish
  2. lunch
  3. bus
  4. dress
  5. box
  6. beach
  7. person
  8. glass
  9. woman
  10. fox
  11. woman
  12. man
  13. person