ESL Clothing Lesson Plan

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson plan provides teachers with individual and group activities designed to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) students how to think about and describe various types of clothing.

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, students should be able to:

  • accurately identify common clothing types by name
  • describe personal clothing and the clothing of others
  • express an opinion about clothing options


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.2

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Key Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Clothes / attire
  • Dress / suit
  • Dress shirt / T-shirt / tank top / blouse
  • Pants / trousers / jeans / shorts / skirt
  • Socks / leggings / nylons / underwear / tie
  • Tennis shoes /dress shoes / sandals
  • Wear / try on


  • A box or hat from which small pieces of paper may be drawn
  • Basic drawing/art supplies
  • Index cards


Draw It!

  1. Write the names of different types of clothing (use the vocabulary list above) on small pieces of paper.
  2. Put the pieces of paper into a hat or box and let each student select one.
  3. Give the students approximately 15 minutes to draw, in any way they see fit, the article of clothing they selected.
  4. Ask for volunteers to describe their drawings to the class and then collect the drawings to display around the classroom.

Dress for Success

This activity encourages students to think critically and creatively about clothing choices. Begin by writing each of the following scenarios on an index card.

  • A job interview
  • A wedding
  • A funeral
  • A first date
  • A day at the beach
  • Playing sports in a park
  • Shopping at the mall
  • Hiking in the mountains
  • A long airplane journey
  • A music concert
  1. Divide the class into small teams and give each team an index card (or two, if the class is small enough).
  2. Give the teams a few minutes to discuss the best outfit for their scenario.
  3. Ask a representative from each team to reveal their team's scenario, describe the best clothing for it, and give reasons why their clothing choices are appropriate. For example, a team representative could say:

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