Warcross: ESL Teaching Guide

516zrvqj44l-_sx332_bo1204203200_Warcross by Marie Lu was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, and it met all of my expectations! I LOVED this story, and thought it was a very fun and exciting read!

If you are teaching an ESL high-intermediate to advanced reading class this upcoming semester, consider using Warcross. The book takes place in a world where a virtual reality game (called Warcross) is so popular that 90% of the world’s population play the game in some way. The book tells the story of Emika Chen, a hacker who accidentally glitches herself into the opening game of the international Warcross championship tournament. If you have students like mine (mostly 18-21 years old, from Asian countries), they will definitely connect with the video game obsessed characters and virtual reality story line! There’s a lot of action, a little bit of romance, and plenty of topics that will lend themselves well to classroom discussion.

Warcross is an especially great book is you are considering gamifying your classroom this semester. There are a lot of concepts in the book that lend itself really well to gamifying, and I’ve written some suggestions in the teaching guide. Having a video game-themed semester sounds like a fun way to get students actively involved in learning English!

Click here for a sample of Warcross: ESL Teaching Guide

Click here to purchase the full, 18-page teaching guide!

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New Year, New Semester!

I’ve had a lovely winter break, and I’m trying to muster up the the energy to go back to work next week! One thing that has gotten me excited to go back to work is thinking about my new classes, and what new, exciting things I have in store for them!

Are you heading back to school soon for a new semester? If you’re an ESL reading teacher, are you looking for a novel to teach in your reading class? Check out some of my ESL Teaching Guides for middle grade and young adult novels! I have a mix of free guides and paid guides, and there should be something that will fit your class. Each guide contains (at the least) suggested vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing/discussion questions. Most of the guides also have suggestions for pre-reading and post-reading activities.

513hgsybygl-_sx337_bo1204203200_A Wrinkle in Time is a classic, and since the new movie is coming out in a few months, this is a timely read for the upcoming semester! This book is best for an intermediate-level reading class, but can be adjusted to a low- or high-intermediate class as well.

A Wrinkle in Time: ESL Teaching Guide

 

 

 

19351043Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a graphic novel and a quick, fun read! This book starts off light-hearted, but then delves into deeper and darker issues that lend itself well to discussions and writing. This book would be best for a low-intermediate or intermediate class.

Nimona: ESL Teaching Guide

 

 

 

513jeuiztel-_sx321_bo1204203200_Ms. Marvel is an ongoing comic from Marvel detailing the life of super hero teenager Kamala Khan. It’s a really fun read, and teenage or young adult students will easily relate to her character. The file for this contains two teaching guides for the first two books of this series.

Ms. Marvel: ESL Teaching Guide

 

 

 

 

51ly6rgccjl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Inside Out & Back Again is the heartbreaking and uplifting story of a refugee girl who flees from Vietnam to the United States. This story is told in poetry, instead of prose, which students may have to adjust to, but they will relate to the story’s themes of getting used to a new culture.

Inside Out & Back Again: ESL Teaching Guide

 

 

 

esperanza_rising_coverEsperanza Rising tells the story of the author’s grandmother immigrating from Mexico to California in the midst of the Great Depression. The book is geared towards younger readers, but contains universal themes that can be appreciated by all ages.

Esperanza Rising: ESL Teaching Guide

A Wrinkle in Time: An ESL Teaching Guide

Hope you guys are all having a Merry Christmas, if you’re celebrating! I’ve been on winter break for about a week now, and have been working hard on a new teaching guide!


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As a kid, A Wrinkle in Time was one of my all time favorite books to read, so you can bet that I am SUPER excited about the new movie coming out in March! This upcoming semester I happen to be teaching a reading class that is the perfect level for reading A Wrinkle in Time, and I can’t wait to introduce this childhood fave to my students. I’m planning on scheduling out the chapters so that we finish the novel right around the time the movie comes out, and I’m going to plan a field trip for us all to see it together!

Since I love this book so much, I’ve put together an ESL Teaching Guide for A Wrinkle in Time. Use this guide with an intermediate-level ESL class to support a class read-through of the novel. This guide contains vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing/discussion questions for each of the 12 chapters in the novel. It also includes some suggestions for pre-reading and post-reading activities. It is written specifically for a university level intensive English program (since that is where my expertise is), but can be adapted for almost any other scenario.

It is my first paid guide, and is available from Gumroad for only $8 (which is definitely a steal since it saves you from having to write any quiz questions or come up with new activities…I’ve done it all for you)! My hope is to bring you a mix of quality free and paid content in the new year! As always, feel free to leave feedback via comments or email me at eslliteraturelessonplans@gmail.com. Enjoy!

 


Click here to purchase A Wrinkle in Time: ESL Teaching Guide

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

19351043Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. (Description from Goodreads)

Topics: identity, friendship, heroes, villains

Suggested Age Level (Native Speakers): Meant for young adult readers, but lexical analysis shows that this books is acceptable for a 5th grade reading leve

Suggested ESL Level: This book would be good for an intermediate class, and because it’s a graphic novel, it is a fairly quick and easy read. It would be good to read this book in the first half of a semester to get students interested in reading in English, and then transition to a traditional novel.

This Guide: This guide is divided into five sections, and further divided into chapters within those sections. This guide contains suggested vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing/discussion questions.

Amazon | Goodreads


Nimona was a very fun, interesting read. The first few chapters are short and quirky – they’re fun and adventurous. However, the more you read, the story gets darker and more complicated. ESL students will like the action and readability of Nimona (lexical analysis shows that roughly 87% of the words are K1 words), and advanced students will benefit from analyzing the themes of good vs. evil and hero vs. villain found within this graphic novel.

Click here to purchase Nimona: An ESL Teaching Guide

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Ms Marvel: Generation Why

23017947Ms. Marvel: Generation Why by Wilson, Alphona, and Wyatt

Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with the all-new Ms. Marvel and all her friends? Maybe Wolverine can help! If Kamala can stop fan-girling out about meeting her favorite super hero, that is. Then, Kamala crosses paths with Inhumanity — by meeting the royal dog, Lockjaw! But why is Lockjaw really with Kamala? As Ms. Marvel discovers more about her past, the Inventor continues to threaten her future. Kamala bands together with some unlikely heroes to stop the maniacal villain before he does real damage, but has she taken on more than she can handle? And how much longer can Ms. Marvel’s life take over Kamala Khan’s? Kamala Khan continues to prove why she’s the best (and most adorable) new super hero there is! (From Goodreads)

Topics: family, tradition, fitting in, super heroes, religion

Suggested Age Level (Native Speakers): Teens and young adults

Suggested ESL Level: This can be adapted to most ESL levels, depending on how much you want students to read every week, or how in-depth you want to go into discussion and analysis.

 This Guide: This is more like a mini-guide, since comic books are not that long, and a lot of the story is told visually. Trade paperbacks are a collection of five to six issues of a comic, so I’ve divided this guide into six sections – one section per issue. You can always combine sections if you want students to read the book more quickly. This guide contains suggested vocabulary, comprehension questions, writing/discussion questions, and quotation analysis.

 


Ms. Marvel: Generation Why is a continuation of Ms. Marvel: No Normal, so students should probably read the first trade paperback in order to understand Generation Why. I found this to be a really enjoyable read, and younger ESL students (teens to young adults) will really enjoy Kamala Khan as a character. Personally, I found No Normal to be much more interesting than Generation Why, but this one is still pretty great!

Click here for the Ms. Marvel: Generation Why comic book mini-guide!!

If you liked this lesson plan and have used it in class, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi so I can continue creating free content!

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Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

91esc9felilEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

Themes/Topics: history, family, immigration, new beginnings, discrimination

 Suggested Reading Level (Native Speakers): Ages 8 – 12

Suggested Reading Level (ESL): Low-intermediate to intermediate

 This Guide: This guide is divided into six sections by page number. However, each section is further divided by chapter, in case you want to divide the book in a different way in your class. Each section includes: suggested vocabulary, comprehension questions, writing/discussion questions, quotes (these quotes are good for practicing analysis and using textual evidence to support an opinion), and research/extension activities (these cover topics throughout the entire book).

This book was a very enjoyable, yet emotional read. I picked it because of its universal themes and historical setting, but I did not expect to cry so much at the end of the book! I think all ESL students will find something in Esperanza Rising to connect with.

Click here for Esperanza Rising: ESL Teaching Guide

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Ms. Marvel: No Normal

Ms. Marvel: No Normal Wilson and Alphona51lgrm5dxol-_sx321_bo1204203200_

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!  (From Goodreads)

 

Topics: family, tradition, fitting in, super heroes, religion

Suggested Age Level (Native Speakers): Young adult

Suggested ESL Level: This can be adapted to most ESL levels, depending on how much you want students to read every week, or how in-depth you want to go into discussion and analysis.

This Guide: This is more like a mini-guide, since comic books are not that long, and a lot of the story is told visually. Trade paperbacks are a collection of five to six issues of a comic, so I’ve divided this guide into five sections – one section per issue. You can always combine sections if you want students to read the book more quickly. This guide contains suggested vocabulary, comprehension questions, writing/discussion questions, and quotation analysis.

 

I had a lot of fun reading Ms. Marvel, and I think ESL students (especially young adult age) will find her to be a funny and relatable character. Use this link here to download the PDF for the Ms. Marvel reading guide.

If you liked this lesson plan and have used it in class, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi so I can continue creating free content!

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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai9780061962783

Inside Out and Back Again is a New

York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor

Book, and a winner of the National Book

Award! Inspired by the author’s

childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam

after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating

to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut

novel told in verse has been celebrated

for its touching child’s-eye view of

family and immigration.

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has

only known Saigon: the thrills of its

markets, the joy of its traditions, and the

warmth of her friends close by. But now

the Vietnam War has reached her home.

Hà and her family are forced to flee as

Saigon falls, and they board a ship

headed toward hope. In America, Hà

discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family.

This moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it “enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny.” An author’s note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà’s story. (From Goodreads)

Amazon | Goodreads

Topics: family, coming-of-age, Vietnam War, refugees, food

Suggested Age Level (Native Speakers): 8 – 12 years

Suggested ESL Level: Low-intermediate

This Guide: I’ve broken this book down into six ~45 page sections, which is perfect if you

teach in a 7/8 week intensive program, or would also be good for one half of a full semester. For each section, this guide contains: suggested vocabulary words, comprehension questions, writing activities, and research/extension activities. There is also a previewing section and a section for helpful links and cultural references.

Click here to view this free teaching guide on Gumroad

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A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

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A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

“My name is Cally Louise Fisher and I haven’t spoken for thirty-one days. Talking doesn’t always make things happen, however much you want them to.”

When Cally Fisher sees her dead mother, real as anything, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking – what’s the point if no one is listening?

The only other living soul who sees Cally’s mum is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mum appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mum is still with them, and how will she ever persuade her Dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her?

An outstandingly assured debut novel from a sparkling new talent. (From Goodreads)

Amazon | Goodreads

Topics: family issues, death, dealing with loss, dogs, friendship

Suggested Age Level (Native Speakers): 8 – 12, or grades 3 – 7

Suggested ESL Level: Low-intermediate or a very motivated/advanced elementary level class

Notes: I would suggest using this in the first half of the semester (if you teach during a regular school semester), as it’s a fairly easy book. The writing is simple, there aren’t very many cultural or topical references that students may have difficulty with, and the themes are fairly universal and understandable. This book is an easy way for students to get started with reading novels in English.

Use this link to download the reading guide PDF: A Dog Called Homeless Reading Guide

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