ESL Video Games 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.

This lesson plan will help you develop ESL learners' vocabularies related to video games as they play a game, discuss it in a conversation, and write a game review that is shared with the class.

Learning Objectives

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

  • identify vocabulary terms related to video games
  • use new vocabulary in oral conversations
  • use new vocabulary in writing
  • write a review of a video game


75-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • ELP 4-5.1

An ELL can construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade appropriate listening, reading, and viewing.

  • ELP 4-5.2

An ELL can participate in grade-appropriate oral and written exchanges of information, ideas, and analyses, responding to peer, audience, or reader comments and questions.

Materials Needed

  • Miscellaneous video game equipment to display
  • School-appropriate video games
  • Vocabulary handout
  • Scissors


  • Video game
  • Controller
  • Role playing game (RPG)
  • Avatar
  • Console
  • Game cartridge
  • Computer game
  • Software
  • Quest
  • Joystick
  • Arcade
  • Arcade game
  • Educational game
  • Gamer
  • Rating
  • MMOG (Massively Multiplayer Online Game)
  • MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game)
  • Cheats
  • Power up
  • Strategy games


  • Put a variety of video game equipment on a table or desk to show students at the beginning of the lesson. Ask them if they know what the lesson is going to be about, based on the items on the table.
  • If any of the items you are displaying relate to the vocabulary, label the items with the vocabulary words, such as 'joystick,' 'console,' and 'controller.'
  • Review the vocabulary terms by giving students a handout listing all the terms, a definition, and an image for each word.
  • Arrange the words on the handout so that the students can cut out the words to make word cards, with the word and definition on one side and the image on the other side of the card.
  • Hold up a piece of the video game console, a game, etc. and have the students hold up the appropriate vocabulary word card. For other terms, give the students the definition and ask them to hold up the appropriate word card. For example, you might say, 'I am the person who is playing the video game' for the word 'gamer,' or 'This is a place that has many different games that people can pay to play' for the word 'arcade.'
  • Put the students in pairs.
  • Have the students take turns holding up the image side of a vocabulary card and asking the other student the word that goes with that image.

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