ESL Community Service Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

The goal of this lesson plan is to provide your English Language Learners with information and vocabulary needed to become volunteers at community organizations.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Understand and correctly use vocabulary related to community service.
  • Explain benefits of volunteering in the community.
  • Identify potential tasks done by volunteers at each site.
  • Discuss volunteer options with classmates.


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

ELP 9-12.1

ELLs will construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade-appropriate listening, reading, and viewing.

ELP 9-12.7

ELLs will adapt language choices to purpose, task and audience when speaking and writing.

ELP 9-12.8

ELLs will determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text

ELP 9-12.9

ELLs will create clear and coherent grade-appropriate speech and text.

Materials Needed

Vocabulary cards showing the vocabulary word and definition on one side and image on the other side


  • Church
  • Community
  • Daycare
  • Head Start
  • Historical society
  • Hospital
  • Immigrant services
  • Library
  • Museum
  • Preschool
  • Schedule
  • School
  • Shelter
  • Soup kitchen
  • Volunteer


  • Ask the students if they know the word 'volunteer.' If any of the students are familiar with the word, have them explain what it means. If they are not, explain that volunteers give their time to help others in the community. Make sure they understand that a volunteer is not paid with money, but helps out to give to the community.
  • Ask students if they can name places in their community where volunteers work. As they are mentioned, show the vocabulary card word and image for the places that are mentioned.
  • Introduce the vocabulary that has not yet been discussed. Be sure to show the images.
  • To practice the vocabulary, have the students spread their vocabulary cards out on the desk in front of them, with the word side up. Hold up one of the images and have the students find the corresponding word and hold it up. You will be able to glance around to see if everyone has the correct word showing. If not, say the word and ask them to check their word choices.

Repeat this for several words until you are sure they recognize the vocabulary.

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