Days of the week are usually taught to beginner ESL students early on in English courses. Once students have learned days of the week, you can incorporate days of the week into your classroom routine.
For example, you can start each class by asking students ‘What day is it today?’ and writing it on the board. Then, later on as students study ordinal numbers and months, you can start each class by asking students what the day and date it is today and writing it on the board.
Learning days of the week is also an important precursor to teaching things like daily routine / schedule, past tense, future tense, making plans, etc.
This page is a complete ESL lesson plan to teach days of the week to beginner ESL learners. The games and activities in this lesson plan are mainly aimed at kids, but can be easily adapted to teach older beginner learners.
All the materials you need for this lesson can be found below. For more materials to teach days of the week that are not used in this lesson plan, check out section at the bottom of this page.
Materials for this lesson:
- Flashcards – Days of the Week
- Student Cards – Days of the Week
- Memory Game PPT – Days of the Week
- Days of the Week Song on YouTube
Days Of The Week Lesson Plan for Beginner ESL Students
Introduction and Warm Up
A great way to warm up while introducing the topic of days of the week is with a fun days of the week song. A quick search of YouTube will find many days of the week songs for different ages and levels and you can use any song you want for this part of the lesson.
Our favorite is ‘The 7 Days of the Week Song‘ by The Learning Station. This song has a catchy rhythm and a fun dance that is easy for kids to learn.
To begin, play the song one time and ask students to listen and guess what they will study today. After listening one time, ask students what days of the week they heard and try to elicit some of the key words.
Then, using these flashcards (or simply write on the board) put the days of the week in order. Start with Sunday, and ask students which day is next. Once all 7 days of the week are on the board, say each word and ask students to repeat after you.
Once students have practiced enough, teach students the song and dance and sing several times. The dance to this song is quite simple and students really enjoy it.
TIP: Once students can sing the song well, try speed up the song in YouTube to make it even more fun.
Drill The Key Expressions
Next, drill the key expressions using the days of the week flashcards. Ask students to repeat the question ‘What day is it today?’ and the answer ‘It’s (Monday).’
To practice the question in a fun way, mix up the flashcards and choose one but don’t look at it. Show it to the students and tell students to ask you the question ‘What day is it today?’.
Then try to guess what day is on the flashcard by answering ‘It’s (Monday).’
Next, to get students to practice answering, choose one flashcard and don’t show the students. Ask them ‘What day is it today?’ and have them guess what day is on the flashcard.
Activity 1: Days Of The Week Memory Game
This days of the week PowerPoint Game is great to practice the days of the week vocabulary in a fun way. To play, divide the class into 2/3 teams.
Then the teams will take turns choosing two numbers. Click on the squares to reveal the day of the week underneath.
If the two days of the week are the same, then that team gets a point. If they are different, click on the red circle to hide the day of the week again.
Once all the matching pairs have been found, the team with the most points is the winner.
TIP: To make sure students are practicing the key words, after clicking on a square ask students ‘What day is it?’ and students should answer ‘It’s (Monday).’
Activity 2: Speed Game
This next game is can be played in pairs or individually. Print and cut out these days of the week cards and give one set to each student / pair of students.
Ask students to place the cards face down on their desk and mix them up. Now the game can start.
Students should ask the teacher ‘What day is it today?’ and the teacher can answer with any day of the week.
Then, students should turn over their cards and try to find that card as fast as possible. When they find the card, students should place that card at the top of their desks and then put their hands on their head. Fastest student(s) get a point.
This activity is a great listening exercise and helps students to practice recognizing the days of the week words.
Activity 3: Speaking Activity – Find Your Partner
This speaking game will get students up out of their seats and making a dialogue with their classmates.
Give each student a day of the week card (you can use the same cards from the previous activity) and tell students not to show the card to anyone.
Students must find a partner with the same card. To do this, students will walk around and ask each other ‘What day is it today?’ and will answer using the day that is on their card.
Once students find their partner, they should go to the teacher and show their cards and then sit down.
If you have a large enough class, you can ask students to find 3/4 students with the same card before coming to the teacher.
To review, ask students to again help you to put the days of the week in the correct order. Put the ‘Sunday’ flashcard on the board (or write on the board) and ask students what the next day is, and the day after that, until you have placed all the days of the week on the board.
Then, ask students ‘What day is it today?’, ‘What day is it tomorrow?’, ‘What day was it yesterday?’, etc, to review the days of the week.