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‘To Do List’ Lesson Plan

This ESL lesson is designed around an inspiring short film about what we do in our everyday lives. In the lesson students watch and discuss a short film, and write three to do lists. The lesson also encourages students to reflect on their own language learning and how they can improve it.


Check out the lesson plan

This ESL lesson is designed around an inspiring short film about what we do in our everyday lives. In the lesson students watch and discuss a short film, and write three to do lists. The lesson also encourages students to reflect on their own language learning and how they can improve it.

Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2)- Intermediate(B1)

Learner type: All ages

Time: 45 minutes

Activity: Watching a short film, discussion, writing three to do lists

Topic: To do lists, life, reflecting on learning a language


Show the film.


Check out the lesson plan


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We hope you enjoy this ESL lesson.


Kieran and the Film English Team

Check out the lesson plan


28 comments on “‘To Do List’ Lesson Plan

  1. jean sciberras says:

    Another nice one. thank you.

    1. Hi Jean,
      Good to hear from you. I’m glad you like the lesson. If you use it, let me know how it goes, please.
      All the best,

  2. gorgeous idea. Thank you..

    1. Hi Pola,
      Thanks a lot. Great to know you like it.
      All the best,

  3. Really good lesson plan for my busy student teachers, most of whom juggle studies, teaching and household responsibilities. Thank you for sharing. Ruth

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Great to know that your student teachers find the lesson useful. Thanks for letting me know.
      All the best,

  4. Nice video. I´m going to try this in the week with my project group. Will let you know how it goes.

    1. Hi Adam,
      Thanks a lot. I’d love to hear how the lesson goes.
      All the best,

      1. Hi Kieran,

        I did the lesson last night. The sts loved it and the lesson went really well. I changed the lesson a little.
        I started with a live listening, which involved me telling the sts a story about all the things I had forgotten to do over the weekend and all the hassle it had caused me. After I had finished they had to brainstorm ways to help me solve this problem of forgetting things. Diaries, alarms, post-it notes, eating fish (omega 3) to help improve my memory all came up. I boarded ‘to do list’ and broke it down into list and then ‘to do’ and the sts got the idea. I explained that a ‘to do list’ was not just for day to day things. This lead into the video nicely.
        The first time watching the video, I asked the sts not to write anything down, but to tell which two words were repeated throughout the film. (more and less). For the second time, I split the class in half and made one side the more group and the other the less group. They had to write down the phrases that included these words. After, we boarded all the words and concept checked some of the more difficult ideas, such as keep less and give more etc.
        The next part involved the sts writing there own lists, but based around the more or less idea. Writing 5 things for each. They then compared with their partner and explained why they had put these things. I did my own on the board to provide a model and give some ideas. Because some of the same ideas came up between the sts, such as speak more/study more English, it lead into a collaborative to do list for ways the class could improve their English outside the classroom. In groups they brainstormed first, then came together to write the final list.

        Thanks for the lesson idea. Keep up the good work.


        1. Hi Adam,
          The way you’ve used the materials sounds great, the students seem to have been really engaged. Thanks for letting me know how it went.
          All the best,

  5. Shame it is not available in spanish!!!!

    1. Hi Marta,
      Unfortunately, it’s only in English. Maybe you could do the other stages, but without the film and lead students into writing their to-do lists about how they could improve their Spanish.
      All the ebst,

  6. I used this lesson with 18,19 year olds, they found the questions regarding LOVE hard to answer. However I do think it got them thinking about the questions so I left it at that, however they enjoyed the the rest and guessing who would win the contest was fun-

    Thank you

    1. Hi Jacqueline,
      Thanks a lot for getting in touch. The questions about love are probably a bit difficult for teens to talk about, but I’m glad they enjoyed the film and the rest of the class.
      All the best,

  7. I’ll be using it with my Senior 5 class today.

    1. Let me know how it goes, Pascal.

  8. Hello from Greece!
    I used your video and instructions in class today and the students loved it!!
    First time ever. I got great feedback and will certainly try it again!
    Really inspiring! Thank you.

    1. Hi Diana, Thanks a lot for your lovely comments, Diana. I really appreciate it. I’m really happy you like the lessons. All the best, Kierna

  9. Hi Kieran, I’m from Colombia and I found your page like 1 month ago. I’ve been using different lessons with my students – such as amar, the mirror, human rights – and I must say that they LOVE THEM. I’m going to use this one tomorrow. Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful videos and ideas for conversational English classes.


    1. Hi Arelis,
      Thanks a lot for your kind words. it’s great to know you enjoy the lessons so much.
      All the best,

  10. I used this lesson for my beginning/intermediate mixed level adult class. The students loved it. I tweaked it a little to make the focus on verbs and vocabulary development. I added a couple of steps where students had to match the verbs to pictures (for example drive less matched with a picture of a man driving a car). Then I used the pictures as clues in a crossword puzzle that used only the verbs. My students all got into it and really enjoyed the lesson. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Thanks a lot for commenting. The way you’ve adapted the lessons sounds fantastic.
      All the best,

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