Monday, 05 December 2016

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - ESL EFL Lessons and Activities

What makes you happy?

ESL EFL Lesson - Pre-intermediate - 1.30 Hours

This critical thinking lesson helps students to consider what makes them happy in their lives. The students share the information with their classmates and examine their findings by looking at reasons for happiness and studying the most popular categories for happiness. Students begin the lesson by writing down ten things that make them happy. The students then work in pairs and share their information. The students also talk about why those things make them happy. The students are then put into groups of four. They discuss and find out the most popular categories for happiness, e.g. health, education, money, etc. The students then give feedback about their findings to the class and create a poster about happiness in order to educate other students about choosing the right things to make them happy.

What makes you happy.PDF  Free 

 

When Prayers are Answered

ESL EFL Lesson - Pre-intermediate - 2 Hours

This engaging four-page critical thinking lesson can be used to teach the topic of reincarnation. The lesson starts off with a song gap fill exercise. The song is “The one that got away” by Katy Perry which introduces the topic of reincarnation. Students then read a short story also covering the topic and answer true or false and reading comprehension questions based on the text. Students then create their own ending to the story. After that, the students use a set of discussion questions to help them use their critical thinking skills to talk about the topic of reincarnation. This lesson covers individual, pair and group work, discussions, critical thinking, speaking, reading, writing and listening activities as well as a variety of language points. Detailed teacher's notes are also provided.

When Prayers are Answered.PDF  Free 

 

Island Adventure

ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 1 Hour

In this creative teaching activity, students use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to survive being stranded on a desert island. The students are told that their boat is sinking and that there is a desert island nearby. In groups of three, students choose four items to help them survive on the island from a worksheet. The students write about their choice of items and their reasons for choosing them. Each group then explains their choices to the class. After that, the groups find out what challenge they face on the island by picking a card. Each group picks a card and makes a plan of what they will do to survive on the island, and how the four items they brought will help them. The groups then present their plans to the class. The teacher assesses each group's chances of survival according to their plan and how risky their ideas are. Each group is awarded a score between zero and three. After each group has presented, they roll a dice and the awarded points are combined with the number on the dice. Groups need to score four or more to survive, and more than six to thrive on the island.

Island Adventure.PDF  Free 

 

My Ideal Partner

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this critical thinking activity, students prioritize and discuss the most important qualities of an ideal partner. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students look at a list of qualities and mark the ten most important qualities of an ideal partner on their worksheet. The class is then divided into pairs. Students find out which ten qualities their partner chose and mark their partner's answers on the worksheet. The students then discuss their answers and explain the reasons for their choices. Then working together, from the qualities they have both picked, they choose the five most important items and arrange them 1 to 5, with the most important being number 1. When they have finished, each pair works with another pair and compares their final choices. Finally, there is a class feedback session to find out the most popular qualities among the class.

My Ideal Partner.PDF  Exclusive 

Stress

ESL EFL Lesson - Intermediate - 1.30 Hours

This captivating three-page lesson will help teach your students about the topic of stress. To begin this critical thinking lesson, students work in pairs and interview each other about the top ten most stressful things in their lives. The students then make a group of four and compare their answers. The group members find the most popular stressful things or situations for their group. After that, the students complete a class stress survey. Students find out the ways each person reduces stress and how they relax. Once the survey is complete, the students re-group and read all their data and categorize it. Students then make posters showing the results of the survey. This lesson involves pair and group work as well as a class mingling activity. Critical thinking, data collection, analyzing and evaluating skills are also used. Detailed teacher's notes are provided.

Stress.PDF  Exclusive 

 

The Elevator

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

This teaching activity is useful for practicing negotiating, critical thinking, prioritizing and making preferences. It can also be used to practice giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing. In groups of four, students are presented with a situation that they have to discuss and then negotiate an outcome. The situation is that there are fourteen people trapped on the 26th floor of a burning building. There is one elevator working, which holds a maximum of eight people, and it can only go down once. Each group has to decide which eight people they will save, and why.

The Elevator.PDF  Exclusive 

 

The Rose

ESL EFL Lesson - Intermediate - 1.30 Hours

This compelling three-page lesson teaches students about the topic of love. The lesson begins with a short story. This is followed by some reading comprehension questions. After that, there is a song gap fill exercise based on the short story. There are also discussion questions to teach the students to think critically about the topic. This lesson covers individual, pair and group work, discussions, critical thinking, speaking, reading, writing and listening skills as well as a variety of language points such as metaphors and similes. Detailed teacher's notes are provided.

The Rose.PDF  Free 

 

What's the criteria?

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 25 Minutes

In this problem-solving teaching activity, students guess what criteria other students have used to put a list of ten jobs in order. The class is divided into groups of six and each student is given a card. Working alone, the students order the jobs according to the criteria on their card. When they have finished, the students take it in turns to read out their order from 1 to 10. The other students in the group analyze the list and discuss the order and try to come up with the criteria. The students should try to explain their reasoning to the student with the card. The student reading the order can’t give away the answer. If the students get the criteria wrong, they should keep trying until they get it right.

What's the criteria.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Your Views

ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes

This productive speaking activity is useful for teaching students to use their critical thinking skills. The students discuss two controversial statements in groups. Students then give their opinions, agree and disagree. The groups write down the reasons for their decisions and present their results to the class. This then leads into a class discussion.

Your Views.PDF  Exclusive 

 

Comments  

#4 Admin 2015-12-27 10:38
You're welcome Dana.
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#3 Dana 2015-12-16 21:36
Good Stuff-Thanks!!
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#2 Admin 2015-11-26 15:28
Thanks Alexandru. Good luck with your classes.
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#1 Alexandru Popa 2015-09-24 08:00
Hello, I would like to thank you for your time putting all the resources on line. I found them really useful and I will use them in school teaching.
Thank you very much
Best regards
Alexandru Gabriel Popa
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