We're retiring teacher-created lesson plans in September 2021. Please save copies for your records. Common Sense digital citizenship lessons are here to stay.
Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Vocabulary Building - for EL's and World Language Students

Vocabulary Building - Descriptions of people, actions and locations
Leigh M.
Technology coordinator
San Diego County Office Of Education
San Diego, United States
Show More

Students will be able to...

  • speak fluently about a picture in the target language. 
  • use vocabulary to describe people orally in the target language.
  • use vocabulary to describe setting orally in the target language.
  • use vocabulary to describe actions in the target language. 


English Language Arts
Grades 7 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

The teacher will choose some pictures in advance from the Google Art Project. The students will either have pencil and paper or a drawing app (Google Draw or Sketch Book Xpress). The teacher will descibe the picture to the students and they will draw the descriptions. In the end the teacher will display the picture and students will compare their drawings to what the actual art was. 



2 Direct Instruction

Free to try

The teacher displays 3-5 pictures from Google Art Project on a Padlet that depicts the vocabulary students need to know. As a class the students brainstorm the vocabulary they will need to learn to accurately describe the pictures. The words are put up on the padlet.  Students look up the vocabulary using dictionaries.  Students then work  as a class to populate the target langaue/phrases on the padlet. 

3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

The teacher sets up an archive of pictures from Flickr or the Google Art Project or other online sources for all students to access that practice the vocabulary being studied.

  1. The Students begin by selecting pictures for each other. 
    1. Student A describes a picture while Student B draws what is being said.
    2. The students debrief - what more could have been said, what was not understood, what is missing...etc.
    3. The students switch

During this activity the students may have access to their notes.  Another option is once the students feel comfortable with the vocabulary being used introduce an element of time. Student A must speak for x ammount of time :30 seconds to a minute using rich vocabulary to describe the situation/person/action of the picture. Student B listens and then provides feedback and then the students switch. 

4 Independent Practice

Free, Paid

Students choose 3 pictures to descibe from the gallery set-up by the teacher. The students create Thinglinks where they label the pictures in the target language as well as include oral recordings describing the picture. 

(sample Thinglink with text only and another

Students would need to create the audio recording in another online webtool: Croakit, Vocaroo, or Audioboo for example. Then link the audio to the thinglink. 

5 Wrap-Up

To have students keep a record of their learning have them create ebooks or a webpage for each unit studied that includes the unit objectives and can do statments from that lesson. Along with these topics students should include a project or work sample(s) that demonstrate the learning. A reflection on the learning of the units objectives is also a good help for students to consider the challenges and success they had with the topic/language goals for the unit.  The student samples do not have to be perfect and are better if they include errors that students can then discuss in their reflection. 

Students create a page in their unit portfolio including their thinglink, rubric for the assignment and their grade and why they received the grade they did or how they can improve in the future.