World Records Lesson Plan for ESL Students

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.

Through engaging your English Language Learners in an exploration of world records, this lesson plan will help you support their growth in vocabulary, oral conversation, and written expression. Students will have a chance to complete their a world record scavenger hunt.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Identify and use vocabulary related to world records.
  • Engage in discussions with classmates.
  • Respond to questions about informational text.


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

ELP 9-12.1

ELLS will construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade-appropriate listening, reading, and viewing.

ELP 9-12.2

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

ELP 9-12.7

ELLS will adapt language choices to purpose, task, and audience when speaking and writing.

ELP 9-12.9

ELLS will create clear and coherent grade-appropriate speech and text

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SMART Board
  • Guinness Book of World Records (1 per student)
  • 1 piece of paper per student
  • Pencils
  • World Record Scavenger Hunt (1 per student)


  • World Record
  • Break a record
  • Hold a record
  • Attempt
  • Scavenger Hunt


  • To introduce the lesson, show students an image of the world's tallest dog ever. His name was Zeus, and he was a Great Dane who was 1.118m (44 inches) tall!
  • Show students a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records. Explain to students that this book has been published since 1955. It is the most famous collection of world records.
  • Select several amusing world records from the book, and make them into an interactive activity with the students. Present the items in a multiple choice format. Have students make response cards by cutting a piece of paper into four pieces, and writing one letter per card: A,B,C,D. As you display the multiple choice question, the students will select the correct answer and hold up the card to show their choice. Questions might look something like this:
    • What is the world record for the number of ice-cream scoops balanced on one ice-cream cone?
      • A. 121
      • B. 25
      • C. 250
      • D. 75
  • After each question, discuss the world record with the students. For the example question, you might ask the students:
    • Are you surprised by the answer? Why or why not?
    • How difficult do you think it would be to break this record?
    • Would this be a record you might try to break? Why or why not?


  • Give each student a copy of the Guinness Book of World Records. Show them how the book is organized.
  • Tell the students they are going to be completing a 'World Record Scavenger Hunt.' You should develop the activity in advance and provide each student with a copy. The scavenger hunt should require students to look through the Guinness Book of World Records to find specific pieces of information. They should also write down the page number on which they found the information.
  • Example questions might be:
    • What is the record for the fastest time to peel and eat an orange blindfolded? page #_____
    • Who holds the record for the largest cake sculpture? page #_____
    • Chad Fell holds the record for blowing the largest bubblegum bubble. Where is he from? page#_____

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