ESL Classroom Grammar & Activities

'A Step by Step Guide to Teaching 30 Fun and Educational English Grammar-based Lessons and 30 Practical Activities'

Have you ever struggled to produce killer ideas for a lesson? How creative are you at making exciting lessons?

The lesson plans are little or no prep with a warm-up – show and tell, keywords & expressions, and practical grammar activities, as well as practical activities/projects – all with flexible classroom sizes with varied skill levels.

All lessons have helpful grammar explanations to save the teacher’s grace.

The students will learn:

  • Thirty grammar points,
  • Develop conversation skills,
  • Improve fluency,
  • Help with critical thinking skills,
  • And create simple questions and answers.

Nigel draws upon more than ten years of teaching English and encouraging students to speak and motivate them. He has created this Step by Step Guide to build lessons efficiently and teach ESL students well.

The free printable resources mean you can reuse the lessons repeatedly, which builds familiarity and confidence. Details on the free resources can be found inside this book.

A single lesson on average can be about 35-40 minutes. If your classes are different, then I am sure you can adapt to the lesson sizes.
The structure for each subject will last for two lessons with a couple longer than that. Most students rarely hold retention and Interest for that amount of time. They prefer punchier education with more entertainment and action. The lengthier lessons are more to the end of the book with more advanced topics.
This book makes for an initial formal experience, followed by a more open and creative practical activity. Most lessons also need preparation. These can include printing worksheets or bringing props for Show and Tell.
This book has 30 subject-based topics but has over 60 actual lessons with a grammar lesson and a practical. They cover various areas to engage the students to work in English. 

I have included both the US and British spelling of certain words. They would look like “favourite/favorite.”

The structure of the initial lesson runs in the same modular styles as follows:

  1. Show and Tell – This is a quick start and a taster of the lesson and should be done in a fun and entertaining manner. Start on the right foot.
  2. Keywords – These are based on both the subject and the grammar point.
  3. Expressions – These cover the structure of the grammar with being loosely based on the subject.
  4. Lesson Activity – This section uses the words and phrases so far in a small grammar-based activity. The students should understand the grammar point by the time of the first lesson.
  5. Practical – This is part 2 of the lesson subject, complete with a presentation or review.


An important note: The grammar listed here is not a comprehensive guide. Most have been simplified purely for the usage in these lessons. As with most English, many exceptions would have been too complicated for ESL learners.

And as with most materials, if they do not understand, try more formal explaining, with worksheets.

Free printable resources are available on this site.

A Few Teaching Tips!

The students bring to the lesson much more than most would think they would include. They have many personal touches with experiences and abilities. Often, lessons have had spontaneous interactions I would never be tired of having.

I will use one rule countless times if they speak together in English, no matter the subject, I stop what we were doing and let them talk. The primary goal is to use English confidently.

Over time, the term experienced speaker has replaced the traditional term ESL teacher. For students, ESL teachers are people with whom they can practice speaking and boost their confidence.

The conventional form of teaching has evolved into edutainment. When a student takes a lesson, they want to walk away with an enjoyable time. For this to happen, they need to be immersed in an English environment that is both comfortable and informal. A more relaxed learning environment helps soften the rigid boundaries between using English in and outside the classroom. We can improve this by building trust and friendship in the lessons.

When a lesson goes well, students will do most of the talking. The ESL teacher acts as a referee to share speaking roles and control speakers’ balance within the room. Encourage open questions only, with no ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers.

It is okay to ignore students’ mistakes if they are minor, but correct significant errors. For me, this would include errors in tenses and pronouns.

If the students in the class are from various countries, there may be cultural differences and educational methods. In theory, this situation can create a positive and supportive learning environment in which everyone listens and tries to understand other people’s languages and perspectives. Students have many individual experiences and abilities they can bring to the lesson. Teachers can make use of these experiences to develop and enhance classroom interactions.

It can be challenging for ESL speakers to go to another country and adapt to a unique culture. It can take many years to understand the language and customs of the local people. I have known ESL teachers expect too much and were overly controlling as they thought they were back home. Those teachers only resulted in losing the attention of a classroom and alienating the country’s native teachers.

There are many instabilities in being a teacher. Most teachers will be in a new country, and they will love you to be there. But they don’t want you to break their beliefs. They want you to run and work smoothly with them. Don’t ever rock the boat.

For more notes, why not pick up a copy of the book.