Category Archives: English Lessons

ESL Lesson: Reading a Short Story: Daydream

… Daydream by Roberta Allen Introduction: This activity is for students with high beginner to low intermediate skills; they are beginning to know enough English to work with others reading, speaking and writing it. Communication has begun. The first activities in this reading lesson are […]

An ESL Lesson: Writing a Story Using Picture Prompts and Correction Marks

… To the teacher: I took the idea for this lesson from an ESL workbook that I used many years ago. Nothing remains of the book, but for this picture, which I now use as a prompt to get students to write a story together. […]

American Music: Writing Lesson One: Pick A Bale Of Cotton. What is Rhythm? Template for a Five Paragraph Essay

… Handout One: The Work Song (making a list) … … … Handout Two: Pick A Bale Of Cotton (examining lyrics) … … … Handout Three: What is Rhythm? … … … Handout Four: Writing a song, and then an essay … … Lesson One: […]

Walking and Thinking about the Present in English

… Walking through Tompkins Square, I see red roses in the brisk air. I’ve been thinking about the present because that is what I am going to be talking about with my students this morning, and here it is, a blooming rose. Although we call […]

Learning English: Simple Sentence Syntax

… If you were going to teach English to someone who was just beginning to learn it, what would you teach? There is a game I sometimes play with beginners, a kind of bingo with a die and some beans for markers. Call it Syntax. […]

Learning English: Main Verbs

… To the English Learner: If you want to learn English, begin with the verbs. That is where the action is. This is true with any language, and very true with English because what makes English English are its helping verbs. But let’s look at […]

On Nouns Becoming Verbs in English

… In English we can take a noun and change it into a verb and the sentence still makes sense. I saw an example recently. There was a sushi restaurant on First Avenue near St. Mark’s that had a great box lunch special. For around […]

William Blake’s To The Evening Star

… TO THE EVENING STAR THOU fair-hair’d angel of the evening, Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown Put on, and smile upon our evening bed! Smile on our loves, and while thou drawest the […]

5 Poems by Robert Frost

The Tuft of Flowers “Iamb the Iamb,” Robert Frost said. As strictly as The Tuft of Flowers sticks to form (iambic pentameter couplets here), in the reading Frost changes words: the instead of a in a reedy brook and it really sounds like he says […]

5 More American Poets: Stein, Frost, Eliot, Pound & Eberhart

These poetry vimeos featuring the poets reading from their works ought to be a useful tool for any English or writing teacher. I took the readings from The Caedmon Collection Recordings and added the texts and other visuals hoping to enhance and help the poems […]

Robert Frost reads Acquainted with the Night (a closer look at the present perfect tense in English)

… Acquainted with the Night I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his […]

5 American Poets

… The five poems and poets that follow are for English or ESL teachers who are looking to do a class with some poetry. I made videos to go with the poems just for the fun of it, but also to provide some visual food […]