How to Teach English About Activities & Occupations to Children


English is a difficult language to learn but breaking the subject into units and focusing on one aspect at a time can make the process easier for children, especially those whose first language is not English. These units also teach very young children about other aspects of our society. For instance, units on occupations and activities not only teach children the vocabulary dealing with these subjects but also what the subjects themselves entail. Follow these steps to use occupations and activities to teach an English lesson to your children or students.

  • Introduce the vocabulary and have students practice saying the word by repeating it after you. Then discuss each word as a class. For instance, one occupation might be a doctor. First ask students what they think a doctor does. Show them a picture of a doctor so they have a visual representation of the word.

  • Allow students to venture their guesses and then echo the correct answer. For example, a doctor takes care of sick people to make them better. Then have students repeat the word and the definition back to you.

  • Ask students to identify aspects of a doctor. Have them tell you what a doctor wears and what kinds of tools he uses as these will help them identify the occupation later.

  • Engage the children in a game that uses the new vocabulary they have learned about occupations and activities. An example might be the Who am I? game. You describe the occupation or activity and have children guess the answer. When they get the answer correct, it is their turn to describe a different job or activity for the class.

  • Practice examples with students in which they use the words in a sentence. This not only helps their context comprehension of the word, it also allows them to practice their grammar. Give a few examples yourself, then have students give examples of their own.

  • Finish the lesson by giving students worksheets pertaining to the new vocabulary that they can work on by themselves. Many different types from crosswords to fill-in-the-blanks are available for printing online. Some good websites to start with might be ESL Tower and English Exercises.


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