ESL Colors Lesson Plan

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

In this lesson, ELL's will learn basic colors. First, they will hear a read-aloud about colors. Then, they will play a few games that require them to understand color words through reading and listening. Lastly, they will create bags with objects of different colors.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify basic colors
  • Locate real-world objects of a specific color


45 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4.a

Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.5.c

Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.6

Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.


  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Black
  • White
  • Brown


  • Colored construction paper cut into small squares
  • Index cards with color words
  • Read aloud text about colors
  • Paper bags
  • Colorful objects
  • Markers
  • Timers
  • Magazines (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)

Lesson Instructions


  • Gather the students close to you for a read aloud. Explain to the students that they are going to learn about colors today.
  • While they are listening to the read aloud, they should give you a thumbs up every time they hear or see a different color.
  • Here are some suggestions for the read-aloud text:
    • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
    • Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean
    • Growing Colors by Bruce McMillian
  • After the read aloud, ask students to think of their favorite color that they saw in the book.
  • Students will turn and share with a neighbor. Call on a few students to share with the group.

Color Cards

  • Distribute squares of colored construction paper.
  • Give one to each student.
  • When you say a color, the student raises their colored card in the air.
    • You can make this more engaging for students by having them do something silly when their color is called, like doing a jumping jack, running in place or hopping on one leg.

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