More Than English: Teaching Language & Content to ELLs

Resources for teaching English Language Development (ELD)

Lesson Planning – How To

The Teacher’s Challenge:  Combining language and content objectives in a simple format

Teaching five different classes daily to students of varying English proficiency in four grade levels, I just don’t have the time to write a one or two page lesson plan for every class.  Yet that is what I found online, in books, and in workshops for ESL teachers.  Everywhere I looked, the touted solutions appeared to be cumbersome and time consuming.  So I developed my own template that addressed the components I considered crucial.

Here is a blank lesson plan  that combines WIDA levels of proficiency, Essential Question, Common Core and Essential Standards, vocabulary, cognitive function (Bloom’s), and formative assessments for a whole week – all on one page!  It is in Word so you can change it for your own use.

This is an actual lesson plan I used for a third grade math class with the student names deleted.  There is a space at the bottom of each lesson where the teacher note proposed changes.

Lesson Planning Tools

Here are some samples of Content Objectives Paired with Language Objectives.

Lesson Planning Worksheet includes Bloom’s Levels of Learning, Action Verbs, Products, Sentence Stems, and blank spaces for Content Objectives and Language Objectives.

Use the interactive Differentiator to create objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Select from suggested Thinking Skills, Content, Resources, Products, and Group Sizes – or create your own.  Created by Ian Byrdseed of Garden Grove, California.

WIDA Standards

The WIDA standards also have suggestions for combining content objectives with language objectives:

WIDA Focus on Differentiation Part I.  WIDA Focus on Differentiation Part 2.  Step by step instructions on how to develop lessons plans for learners at varying levels of English proficiency.

More Ideas

For more ideas on lesson plans, try the TESOL Resource Center.  You can even submit one of your own.

7 Qualities to Maximize the Impact of Your Lesson Plans by Larry Ferlazzo

ESL Gold:  Scroll down on the left side of the website to select the proficiency level and the domain you wish to focus on.  The site will take you to specific resources and lesson suggestions.  A great resource for supplementing your lesson planning.

Project Based Learning (PBL)  Find the tools you need to plan, manage, and assess rigorous projects  to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.

Contact me 

I welcome suggestions for other resources to be included in this site.  Please use my contact form or email me directly at

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