ESL TV Lesson Plan

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

The hands-on activities in this lesson will give your ELL students a deep understanding of the genres of television shows. Discussion and a worksheet will help your ELL students comprehend terminology associated with television.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define ''genre,'' ''drama,'' ''sitcom'' and other vocabulary words related to TV
  • Demonstrate an understanding of television genres through role-play
  • Categorize television shows into genres based on their descriptions


60-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


  • Vocabulary worksheet including all vocabulary words with blank lines for students to write in definitions themselves
  • Large box (refrigerator box would be great, but any large box will do)
  • A television guide worksheet showing the programs scheduled on one station for a week's time (print and/or copy from a station website or a TV Guide magazine)
  • Large picture of a television


  • Television
  • Genre
  • TV Guide
  • Sitcom
  • Drama
  • News
  • Reality show
  • Adventure
  • Entertainment
  • Movie
  • Commercial
  • Infomercial
  • Educational
  • Channel
  • Pay-per-view
  • Sports
  • Sci-fi
  • Docuseries


  • Display the picture of a television.
  • Ask your students to give you all the English words they know that are related to this picture.
  • Write their suggestions on the board.
  • Hand out the vocabulary worksheet.
  • If your students have thought of other words not listed on the worksheet, instruct students to add these words to the worksheet.
  • Work through the definitions of each of the words with your students. Write the definitions on the board so that students can copy them.
  • When you define ''genre,'' ask students to identify types of shows they can see on television. Then, point out which words on the vocabulary list are genres of television shows.
  • When discussing the definition of commercials, have a brief discussion about why commercials are important for programming.

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