ESL Lesson Plan: The Sound and Silence Game

Here’s an ESL lesson plan designed for a classroom of 20 children, incorporating bells, whistles, and silent pauses for a fun and engaging learning experience:

Lesson Plan: The Sound and Silence Game

Learning Goals:

  • Vocabulary Acquisition: Learn and reinforce vocabulary related to common objects or actions (e.g., animals, food, verbs).
  • Listening Comprehension: Develop the ability to recognize and respond to auditory cues.
  • Turn-Taking and Classroom Participation: Practice taking turns and actively engaging in the lesson.


  • Bells: 2 small bells (or similar sounding objects)
  • Whistle: 1 whistle
  • Picture Cards: A set of picture cards representing the target vocabulary (e.g., animal pictures, food pictures, action verbs)


  1. Warm-Up (5 minutes):
    • Start by making a few exaggerated sounds with the bells and whistle.
    • Ask the children, “What do you hear?” and elicit the words “bell” and “whistle.”
    • Explain that they will be playing a game with these sounds.
  2. Sound Association (10 minutes):
    • Show a picture card and say the corresponding word clearly.
    • Repeat the word with the children a few times.
    • Assign a sound to each word:
      • Bell 1: Animal sounds
      • Bell 2: Food-related words
      • Whistle: Action verbs
    • Practice by showing cards and having children make the appropriate sound.
  3. The Sound and Silence Game (15 minutes):
    • Divide the class into two teams.
    • Have one student from each team come to the front of the room.
    • Show a picture card to both students.
    • The first student to make the correct sound wins a point for their team.
    • Introduce a silent pause after showing the card.
    • The first student to make the correct sound after the silent pause wins a point. (This adds an element of self-regulation and impulse control).
    • Rotate through all students.
  4. Variation: Action Time! (10 minutes):
    • For action verbs, after the child makes the whistle sound, they must also act out the verb (e.g., jumping, clapping, running).
    • This adds a kinesthetic element to the learning and gets the kids moving.
  5. Wrap-Up (5 minutes):
    • Review the vocabulary words and their associated sounds.
    • Congratulate both teams for their participation and award a small prize to the winning team (optional).

Classroom Management Tips:

  • Clear Instructions: Explain the rules and expectations clearly and concisely.
  • Modeling: Demonstrate how to play the game before starting.
  • Visual Cues: Use gestures and facial expressions to reinforce instructions and maintain engagement.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise children for correct answers and good behavior.
  • Pacing: Keep the game moving quickly to avoid boredom and maintain energy.


  • Beginner: Use fewer picture cards and simple vocabulary words.
  • Intermediate: Increase the number of picture cards and complexity of the vocabulary.
  • Advanced: Introduce phrases or sentences instead of single words.


  • Observation: Note which students are able to make the correct sound associations and follow instructions.
  • Participation: Encourage all students to participate actively and take turns.

Additional Tips:

  • Make it Fun! The more fun you have with the game, the more engaged your students will be.
  • Be Flexible: Adapt the game based on your students’ needs and interests.