No Plan. No Problem.

No plan. No problem.

Teachers: What would you do if you got to your classroom and realized that you’d forgotten all of your materials? How about if a colleague gets sick and you have to step in without a plan? Or imagine you start teaching and realize two minutes in that everyone already knows everything you were going to teach that day.

It happens and it’s good to be prepared. Here are five ideas for teaching a lesson without materials. Do you have any more ideas? It’d be great to read them in the comments.

BreakingNewsEnglish If you’re the really prepared type (or want to be), go to www.breakingnewsenglish.com. Choose two lessons that look good, print them off and make some copies. When your bad day happens, you can just whip them out and go like it was your plan all along.

Vocab Review Celebrity” requires no prep, is very educational, and super fun to boot.

Moving Lines After having students come up with some questions on a theme, put them in two lines. Have them ask all their questions and then slide half the students down one spot and repeat the questions again, and again, and again. (For a fuller description, go here.)

Dialogues Tried and true. Write dialogues on a theme, review them in pairs, edit them, write them again, and present them to the class.

Descriptive Essays Or, set them to writing essays. Choose a big theme like “Your Friends” or “Your Hometown” or “Vacation Spots”. Have them describe things in detail: a paragraph on each friend, all the places they go in their hometowns, each vacation they’ve taken. The more details you ask for, the bigger the topic, the longer it’ll go on. Done right, work on descriptive essays can last years.

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