Language Lesson Plan

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.

What counts as language? A video lesson explains this to students while an in class activity allows students to experience the power of language. Related lessons and extensions are also included for further instruction.

Learning Objectives:

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

  • define language
  • distinguish between language and communication


1 to 2 hours


  • Slips of paper featuring assorted simple sentences

Curriculum Standards


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


  • Begin by asking students to list the languages that they speak, writing them on the board.
  • Now ask them to work together to come up with a definition for language, writing this on the board as well.
  • Now play the video lesson What Is Language?, pausing at 0:51.
  • Revisit the student-provided information on language that is listed on the board in terms of what was stated in the video lesson. Were the students correct in their definition of language? How many of the languages spoken by the students were mentioned in the video?
  • Now ask students if traffic signs are a type of language. Write their ideas on the board.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause at 1:41.
  • Were the students correct about traffic signs? Discuss why or why not as a class.
  • Now ask the students if animals have languages, again writing their ideas on the board.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson.
  • Were the students correct about animal language? Discuss why or why not as a class.

Discussion questions

  • How does body language come into play with language?
  • Why does American Sign Language qualify as a language but simple directional signs do not?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account