ESL Adoption Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kandi Young

Kandi has degrees in Communications, Human Services, Education and Computer Science. She is a Business, Marketing, and Technology instructor with a Master's degree in Education.

Many young people are faced with difficult situations that leave them in the care of people outside their nuclear family. This lesson focuses on explaining the adoption process in the United States to ESL students.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Define adoption.
  • Understand adoption terminology.
  • Understand the process of adoption.

Length of Lesson

1 to 2 hours



Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


  • Vocabulary list
  • Presentation software
  • Internet access
  • List of inherited and acquired traits. For example:
    • Eye color
    • Accent
    • Blood type
    • Good at math


  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Adoption agency
  • Adoptive parent
  • Birth parent
  • Adoption agreement
  • International adoption
  • Inherited traits
  • Acquired traits


  • Begin class with a discussion about what students know about adoption:
    • What does 'adopted' mean to you?
    • Is anyone here adopted?
    • Do you know anyone that is adopted?
    • How is adoption viewed in your native country?
    • Is adoption an option in your country?
  • Pass out vocabulary lists to the students and discuss each term.
  • Discuss the process of adoption in the United States and ask students to share any differences they recognize from their country's adoption process.
  • Continue on to the related activities.

Fostered to Adopted Activity

  • Have students research fostering and adoption.
  • Using presentation software and internal hyperlinks, have students create a 'choose your own ending' story with information about fostering and adoption. Tutorials are easily found online if needed. The story should include:
    • Definitions of fostering and adoption.
    • Reasons children are placed in foster care and up for adoption.
    • Typical steps that must be followed for either to happen.
  • Allow students to present their story to the class, and have the class interact and decide which options to choose throughout the story.

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