The Internet TESL Journal

Bronx Zoo Lesson Plan for Adult ESL Students

Virginia E. Clinton
v_e_clinton [at]
Borough of Manhattan Community College (New York, USA)
The lesson plan focuses on familiarizing beginning adult ESOL students in New York City with the Bronx Zoo for a class trip to the zoo the following day. It can adapted for different levels of ESL and ages easily. It is intended for a three hour class.


This is a lesson plan for beginning level adult ESL students in New York City. It can be easily adapted to places outside of New York City either by using a local zoo or by not having a trip to the zoo and using the Bronx Zoo's online resources. Because of the varying difficulty of language in discussing animals and zoos, this lesson can be adapted to more difficult levels by having longer and more difficult text and questions. Different age groups can also benefit from these activities. Children may appreciate being able to draw their own pictures of animals and then presenting their pictures and their animal information to the group.

Lesson Goals

This lesson will familiarize the students with the exhibits and layout of the Bronx Zoo. Students will practice conversation skills using real and adapted resources from


For Each Student:

For the Teacher<:

Advance Preparation

Introduction (15 Minutes)

First Half of Jigsaw Activity (15 Minutes)

Second Half of Cooperative Learning Jigsaw Activity (20 Minutes)

Whole Class Discussion (15 Minutes)

Pairwork (15 Minutes)

Share (5 Minutes)

Pairwork and Whole Class Share (Thirty Minutes)

Whole Class Discussion (15 Minutes)

Pairwork (20 Minutes)

Games (Final 15-20 minutes)


The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. X, No. 5, May 2004