Pet Peeves Lesson Plan for ESL Students

Instructor: Kandi Young

Kandi has degrees in Communications, Human Services, Education and Computer Science. She is a Business, Marketing, and Technology instructor with a Master's degree in Education.

ESL learners are not only challenged to learn a new language, but they must also learn societal differences. Understanding pet peeves can help students navigate social situations more successfully. This lesson will help ESL students identify societal and personal pet peeves.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the term pet peeve
  • Identify various societal pet peeves
  • Identify personal pet peeves

Length of Lesson

1 to 2 hours


  • ELP 2-3.4

construct grade-appropriate oral and written claims and support them with reasoning and evidence.

  • ELP 2-3.5

conduct research and evaluate and communicate findings to answer questions or solve problems.


  • pet peeve
  • annoyed
  • society
  • norms
  • personal
  • opinion


Matching Activity

  • index cards
  • markers


  • Note cards with pet peeves

Board Game Activity

  • various board games as samples
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • cardboard


  • Go over the vocabulary with the students, reviewing and defining the terms.
  • Begin a class discussion about what is considered annoying in your student's culture or society. Give students examples of typical American pet peeves, such as loud phone conversations in public or not picking waste up after pets. Guide the conversation to personal pet peeves.
  • Potential conversation prompts are listed below:
    • What annoys you the most when eating dinner?
    • What annoys you in the classroom?
    • What annoys you at a movie theatre?
    • What person annoys you most?
  • Give each student a sheet of paper and ask them to write down their top three pet peeves.
  • Ask students to share their list with the class and explain why the action annoys them.
  • Prompt discussion as to whether the peeves are shared by society or unique to the student.


Matching Activity

  • Pass out index cards and markers to students.
  • Ask the students to write pet peeves on half the cards and draw a picture of the pet peeve on the other half of the cards.
  • Break students into groups and allow them to play the matching games they created.

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