An ESL lesson plan about accidents may not only improve your students' English skills; it can make a difficult situation less scary in the event of an actual emergency.
The general guidelines for an ESL lesson plan on accidents include these factors:
- Speaking and listening skills are essential in accident situations, with reading skills coming into play to a lesser extent.
- Vocabulary can become very specific, so teachers should take care not to overwhelm the students with words related to many different situations.
Outside of these general guidelines, there are several activities teachers can include in an accident-focused lesson plan.
Students are given an accident-related scenario and must take part in a conversation about the topic. Students can role-play any of the following scenarios:
- You're an accident victim making a report to a police officer.
- You're a reporter asking bystanders to describe a crash they witnessed.
- You're at the hospital with an injured relative, explaining the injury to the doctor.
- You're describing the damage from a fire to an insurance agent.
- You're on the phone with a 911 operator.
Keep the situations relevant to the needs and experiences of the class. A middle school ESL class will gain the most benefit from acting out a 911 call, while an adult with children may find it more useful to practice talking to a medical professional.
Role-playing can take place in pairs or small groups. Teachers can structure the class so that the groups are talking simultaneously in different areas of the room or ask them to perform the activity in front of the entire class.
Skits can use the same scenarios as role-playing activities. However, students are given a chance to create the dialogue before presenting it to the class. This can make some students more comfortable because they have a chance to prepare their thoughts and practice.
However, having time to pre-think and practice keeps this from being an authentic task. Teachers should consider the overall goals and objectives of the course before choosing this option over more natural conversational practice such as with role-playing.
When performing role-playing exercises, it's important to take care to maintain a respectful atmosphere. If students feel nervous about "performing" in front of others, they may start laughing or launch into over-the-top, melodramatic speech. However, no one should be giggling over a car accident, even if it's a pretend one.
Teachers can create or find an accident report form or a hospital admittance form. Students practice their vocabulary by filling in the form with the details of a hypothetical accident. Depending on the fields available on the form, this exercise can also provide a review of names, addresses, and phone numbers or give the students additional opportunities to practice their descriptive vocabulary.
Describing an accident can be a great way for students to practice their writing skills. Teachers can include lessons on verb tenses, sentence structure and descriptive language.
- Breaking News English is a site that uses news stories as the basis for English language lessons. While the title "Man Shoots Colleague in Crocodile's Jaws" may seem a bit sensational, it actually provides a complete ESL lesson plan about accidents. If you don't want to direct your students to the website, you can download the story in Word and PDF file formats. You can also download an MP3 audio file of the text for listening comprehension practice. The site includes suggested activities for students to complete before, during and after reading. At times it focuses heavily on the concept of crocodiles, but there are numerous accident-related tasks.
- Accidents in the Home is a sample lesson plan from The Internet TESL Journal. It mainly provides a series of discussion points that can lead to student narratives of their own experiences with accidents.
- Lanternfish presents an ESL writing workshop exercise that would work well with an accident-themed lesson. In learning how to build an argument, English language learners could take a variety of positions related to the prevention of accidents.