Transportation is a common subject in ESL classes. Textbooks and English language curricula often feature a lesson on transportation early on for beginner students to learn.
Learning transportation vocabulary and expressions in English can be very useful and practical for ESL students.
Upon learning about transportation and modes of transport, students can begin to talk about things such as how they traveled to school or work. It is also very practical for when English language learners visit an English speaking country and must navigate the transportation there.
This page is a complete ESL lesson plan to teach transportation to beginner English language learners. This lesson plan will focus on asking and answering ‘How do you go to school?‘.
The games and activities in this lesson plan are mostly geared towards kids and teenagers, but they can be easily adapted to use with older beginner students.
All the materials need for this lesson can be found below.
For more ESL lesson materials to teach about transportation, that are not included in this lesson plan, check out the section at the bottom of this page.
Materials for this lesson:
- Flashcards – Transportation
- Board Game – Transportation
- Worksheet – Transportation
- Transportation Guessing Game (YouTube)
Transportation | An ESL Lesson Plan For Beginner English Language Learners
At the beginning of the class, before teaching the transportation vocabulary and expressions, it is important to put the lesson into context.
A great way to do this is by asking students how they got to school that day. Elicit from students the different ways that they came to school and write them on the board. For example, ‘by bus’, ‘on foot’, etc.
Then ask students to guess how you, the teacher, got to school that day. if teaching kids, you can make this more fun by pretending you came to school by helicopter or by jet or some other unusual mode of transport.
Introduce Key Words And Expressions
Next, using these transportation flashcards, practice the key transportation vocabulary and expressions for the lesson. For this lesson, we will use the expression ‘How do you go to school?‘ – ‘I go to school by (bus).’
Show students the flashcards and say each word aloud and ask students to repeat after you. Once students have practiced enough, practice asking and answering ‘How do you go to school?’
Activity 1: Transportation Guessing Game
This first activity is a fun guessing game about transportation and different modes of transport. This a fun and engaging way to practice asking and answering ‘How do you go to school?.
To play, simply show the video in class. There are 10 pictures of different modes of transport hidden behind colored shapes. As the shapes slowly disappear, the image is revealed. Students must try to guess what mode of transport it is as quickly as possible. When students are ready to guess, pause the video and ask them ‘How do you go to school?’. Students should answer ‘I go to school by (bus).’
This leads to some funny answers when pictures of unusual modes of transport are revealed. Kids love pretending that they came to school by helicopter or motorbike, etc.
Activity 2: Transportation Board Game
This next activity is a printable board game for students to play in pairs. While playing this game, students will make a dialogue with their partner while using different transportation vocabulary.
Print out this transportation board game and give one to each pair of students. To play, students will take turns in placing their eraser at the bottom of the page and then flicking it with their finger.
When the eraser lands on a mode of transport picture, students must make a dialogue with their partner. For example, if it lands on the ‘train’ picture, the student can ask ‘How do you go to school?‘ and their partner can answer ‘I go to school by train‘.
After making a dialogue, the student who flicked the eraser then writes his / her name in that area. Then it’s the other student’s turn. After 5/10 minutes, stop the game and the student with the most areas is the winner.
Board games can be a fantastic way to reduce teacher talking time and get your students talking using the target language. For many more FREE printable board games on many topics, check out our board games page.
Activity 3: How Do You Go To School? – Class Survey
This final activity is a speaking activity to practice asking and answering ‘How do you go to school?’. Download and print this transportation worksheet and give one to each student.
Students must walk around and ask their classmates ‘How do you go to school?’. Then students should write their classmates’ names and the mode of transport on the worksheet to complete the table. For more ESL worksheets on many other topics, check out our ESL worksheets page.
Before finishing the class, review what students learned during the lesson. A great way to do this when teaching kids is with a fun flashcard game. Using the transportation flashcards from earlier, choose one and don’t show the students. Ask the kids to guess the mode of transport on the flashcard. The first student to guess correctly then gets to line up at the door. Then repeat with other flashcards until all the kids are lined up at the door and ready to go.