ESL Emergency 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.

Through activities in this lesson plan, your ESL learners will become familiar with vocabulary needed in emergency situations and will learn to call 9-1-1. Students will practice simulated 9-1-1 calls for a variety of emergency situations.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • correctly use vocabulary related to emergency situations
  • make a 9-1-1 call to get help
  • orally ask and answer questions about emergency situations


30-45 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • ELP 9-12.7

An ELL can adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when speaking and writing.

  • ELP 9-12.8

An ELL can determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text.

Materials Needed

  • Emergency situation picture cards
    • house fire
    • car accident
    • injured child (i.e. broken arm)
    • drowning person
    • unresponsive person needing CPR
    • house being burglarized
    • personal attack
  • 9-1-1 call script
  • A brief clip from a television show or movie that shows an emergency situation
  • A recording of a 9-1-1 call


  • 9-1-1
  • 9-1-1 Operator
  • Accident
  • Ambulance
  • CPR
  • Doctor
  • Emergency
  • EMT
  • Fire
  • Firefighter
  • Injury/injured
  • Hurt
  • Paramedic
  • Police Officer
  • Robbery
  • Weapon


  • To introduce the lesson to students, show a brief clip from a television show or movie that shows an emergency situation.
  • Stop the clip right after the emergency occurs.
  • Ask the students what they would do if they were in that situation.
  • Read through the lesson vocabulary, written on the board or given to the students on a handout.
  • Have the students say each word aloud and discuss the meanings of the words. Show an image that relates to each word as you are discussing them.
  • Explain the 9-1-1 system to the students and describe the procedure for calling 9-1-1.
  • Explain what will happen when they call to talk to an operator, what situations are appropriate for 9-1-1- calls, and what information the operator will need to know.
  • Play a recording of a 9-1-1 call for the students. Discuss any questions they have about the call.
  • Provide students with a script for a 9-1-1 call. Put them in pairs and have them practice the script, taking turns being the operator and the caller.

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