ESL Lesson Plan for Time Expressions

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Looking for a fun way to introduce your ESL (English as a second language) students to common time expressions? This lesson plan will do just that in a simple and engaging manner. An activity helps to solidify understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • List and define common time expressions.
  • Use time expressions in verbal communication.


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.


Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.


Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).


  • English dictionaries
  • Unlined 5x7 index cards
  • Fine-tipped markers

Key Terms

  • After
  • Ago
  • Always
  • As we speak
  • At this time
  • Before
  • By
  • Finally
  • For
  • Forever
  • Immediately
  • Just
  • Lately
  • Next
  • Nowadays
  • Once
  • Presently
  • Previously
  • Recently
  • Since
  • Soon
  • Today
  • Tomorrow
  • Until
  • Whenever
  • Yesterday

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