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Nature Discussion Questions for ESL Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Part of teaching your ESL students conversational skills is teaching them to ask and answer questions. The questions in this lesson will prepare your students to discuss nature.

Why Use Nature Discussion Questions?

Many students who are learning to speak English will benefit from the opportunity to engage in realistic and authentic conversations with others. It is important, however, for students to have practice talking about topics that are of genuine interest to them. One topic that interests many individuals is nature and the natural world. So many people love to be outdoors and to think about aspects of nature including plant life, animal life, and ecology or environmental issues. For ESL students who were born in different countries, it can also be interesting to talk about differences in nature based on geography, as well as different cultural norms in terms of relating to nature and the environment. The discussion questions in this lesson will get your students talking to one another about nature. You can pose these questions to your students or have them pose questions to each other in an effort to lead to genuine and engaging conversation that simultaneously allows them to practice their language and to talk about things that are of real interest to them.

Nature Discussion Questions

Questions About Plants

  • What plants do you like to look at?
  • Do you like to work in the garden? Why or why not? What kind of gardening do you like to do?
  • What is your favorite tree? Why do you love this tree so much?
  • What is your favorite vegetable to eat? How does this vegetable grow?
  • What kind of flowers do you love? What do you love about these flowers?
  • What kinds of plants grow in your home country? How do the plants in the United States look similar to or different from the plants in your home country?
  • Where do you like to go to look at plants?
  • Do you like to keep plants in your home? Why or why not?
  • What do you do when you are having trouble growing a particular plant or flower? How do you help it stay alive?
  • Describe a time you have enjoyed being outdoors among plants, trees or flowers. Who were you with? What did you see? What did the experience feel like?

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