Free ESL Lesson Plans on American Culture

Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language


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American Culture Lessons

Don't forget to teach culture in your lessons. Students are really interested in how the United States differs from France, so make sure to include these differences. This is also a good way of increasing vocabulary. (Some of these resources are very specific to my life in Michigan, especially pertaining to the school system, so you may need to make adjustments to the lessons.)

General US Quiz - General questions about the US to quiz the students on
US Questions - Short exercise in creating questions from given answers, on the subject of basic US information
September 11 - Transcript from the first Daily Show with Jon Stewart after 9/11. The video is available online too. Follow up with discussion on Patriot Act.
US Election Quiz - Short multiple choice quiz mostly about the government and electoral college
Electoral College Info - Map of US with number of electoral votes for each state, a short explanation, and the number of votes from the 2000 election
Republican or Democrat? - Students agree or disagree with statements to determine if they are more Republican or Democrat
In Flanders Fields - Poem for students to study around Veteran's Day, includes picture of a poppy
Thanksgiving Article - Two page article on Thanksgiving customs, history and contemporary celebrations
American Thanksgiving - Shorter (one page) article about Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie recipe
Story of Thanksgiving - Past tense fill in the blank exercise (regular & irregular verbs) using the story of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day Photos - Photos of Thanksgiving dinner and the typical food Americans eat for the holiday
Label Thanksgiving Clipart - Label the clipart about Thanksgiving, for young learners (write words on board so they can choose)
Pearl Harbor - Article about the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt's speech, comparisons between Dec. 7 & Sept. 11, and passive mood exercise
US Geography & Directional Words - Map of US with list of directional words for students to practice describing the location of a state
Famous Cities - Student locate cities on map of US and determine the three with the highest populations (NY, LA & Chicago)
Distances between cities - Students locate cities on map, and determine which two cities correspond to the distances given; also includes some famous places to see in the US
Size of US compared to Europe - Two maps (to scale) that compare the size of the US to the size of Europe (The US is 17 times larger than France)
Tourism in the US - Match tourist attractions with location, and identify pictures of nine tourist attractions
Weather in the US - Describes weather in 5 regions of US, plus translation exercise for weather vocabulary (French to English & vice versa)
US High Schools - Short article on American high schools, mostly what is different from French high schools
High School Test - Multiple Choice & True / False test on American high schools
Interdictions & Obligations: Modals - Choose correct modal to fill in sentences about American high schools
Interdictions & Obligations: T/F - Interdictions and obligations about high school, students determine whether true or false and correct the false ones
Schedules & Grades Compared - Sample schedules and grades (marks and years) comparing the school systems in France and the US
Student Vocabulary - List of nouns and adjectives for describing teenagers or students, with French explanations
Stereotypical Students - Pictures of stereotypical students, students fill in nerd, jock, goth, band geek, preppy and slacker
Martin Luther King Article - One page article on MLK, as well as comprehension questions
ACLU ad - Pictures of MLK and Charles Manson, with caption stating that MLK is more likely to be pulled over by police because of his skin color
"I have a dream" speech - Transcript of the last 5 minutes of MLK's famous speech
St. Patrick's Day - Paragraphs about the holiday, map of Ireland & Northern Ireland, and fill in the blank questions
American's Guide to France - Funny article about stereotypes of the French & France (and Americans!), with clipart of stereotypical French man
American Restaurant Quiz - Multiple choice quiz about eating in restaurants in the US, with some common restaurant expressions at the end
American Restaurant Menu - Sample menu from a typical American restaurant that serves everything (modified from a Coney Island menu)
Food & Pronunciation - Vocabulary relating to meals and food in the US, with food vocabulary sorted according to vowel sounds
Memorial Day Food - List of foods typically eaten at cookouts in the US, plus explanation of Memorial Day in French
Cookout Food - Photos from a Memorial Day cookout, showing typical American foods
American Breakfast Food - Photos and labels for American breakfast foods, plus matching (with cookout foods) and short answer exercise
Bushisms - List of Bush quotes for students to correct


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