Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Sample Lesson Plans for Preschool World Language Class such as Spanish and French

ONE QUESTION I RECEIVE REGULARLY IS HOW TO PLAN A SPECIFIC LESSON, how to break down timings for various age groups in order for the class to run effectively and efficiently. I thought it might be helpful to start a short series of blog posts highlighting sample lesson plans that could serve as a template for teachers. Let's start with PRESCHOOL- and remember, this is just a TEMPLATE, there are tons of variations on the idea, this is meant to serve as a global 'get you started' outline-this could work well for a first day/first week lesson plan:

Sample Preschool Lesson Plan Template for Spanish and French


*GREET students at the door or at rug (if you are on a cart) with a simple ¡Hola! / Bonjour!

*INVITE students to stand in a line outside the rug; motion for each to sit in a designated spot on the rug (make seating charts ahead of time-you can always change these later once you know the kids better). Model walking to the seat and gently guide your little friends to their space. I frequently make the 'shhh' sound and a finger to my lips while I am doing this-it reinforces the idea of calm and begins to instill the concept of paying attention to me for direction.

*GREETING SONG OR GAME : because this age is so squirrelly, having a song or game that does not take turns is optimal (otherwise they will lose their attention and patience). A song like ¡Hola! from Super Simple Spanish can be accompanied by doing the actions in the video or rhythmic clapping-don't worry about them learning the words, but rather just moving along with the song at this point.

*NAME GAME Naturally you want to start learning names, but because of their attention span, activities where you are calling on one at a time can lead to losing them quickly. Instead try a simple listening- movement activity like "Stand up _____" (name in blank) , "Sit down ___", -have name cards handy and just pull them randomly so kids have to listen for their name and do the action (be sure to model what stand up is-be in a seated position yourself, say 'stand up' in the target language, and stand up, using your hands to indicate an upward motion. For 'sit down', be standing, say 'sit down' in the target language', sit down while using your hands to indicate a downward motion). After a few names, start calling two names at a time, work up to three names, etc. Have some kids remain standing for a rounds before having them sit back down again. Keep the pace brisk while pulling cards and calling names while giving the instructions, just for stand up and sit down. Give applause frequently for their great listening :) It usually takes me 2-4 classes to learn all names, so I do games like this EVERY class to help me get them down.

*HIGH FIVE When you end the above game, have a mini celebration with a high five-give a high five to the kid next to you in circle, that kid then "passes" the high five to the next kid and so on around the circle. Celebrating success, big and little, builds confidence and reduces some of their anxieties about not knowing the target language.

*COOL DOWN After all that energy, it can be helpful to have a cool down time. Lullabies are a great way to bring this about, as it naturally taps into a routine they already know well. Turn off the lights, make a 'shhh' sound with finger to lips, and play a quiet song like La lechuza hace shhh or Au clair de la lune. The goal is not for them to learn the words, but rather to watch and settle down a bit. Bring in the element of imaginative play by having them pretend to go to's night time, let's go to sleep. You can sing the lullaby again as they "drift off". Let them "sleep" for a minute or two, then "wake them up" with a magic wand or sprinkling "magic dust" on them. You can even have them go back to sleep and do the imaginative play again :)

*GOOD BYE I like to have a low key good bye at the end of class. Have them stand up (but stay in their circle spots) and invite them to line up by walking in the order they are sitting around the outside of the rug. As they leave, say 'good bye' in the target language to each one with a wave :)

45 MINUTES OR MORE (Incorporating the above plus the below-consider these "buffet items" that you can mix and match depending on your class)

*BILINGUAL STORY TIME: This can be a great option if you are ok with a fair amount of English being spoken during your class. Connecting with the lullaby above, you could read a 'bedtime story' like 'Buenas noches luna'/ 'Bonsoir lune' before they "go to sleep".

*CIRCLE GAME I love playing circle games where everyone is involved, such as 'Al corro de la patata' or 'A la rueda de San Miguel', or 'Corre el trencito', and in French, Rosi Rosa and they are perfect for little kids. Again, I am not looking for them to learn the words, but rather to just participate in the game.

*FREEZE DANCE My kiddos LOVE to play Freeze Dance, and it is a great way to not only incorporate authentic music, but also to instill elements of self control. I always go over my three guidelines for moving before we start: 1) you stay in your spot 2) your body is in control 3) we don't touch anyone else while dancing

*DRINKS sometimes, especially with a long class period like this, it helps to take a drink break. Just be cognizant that, if you have a large class, you will have squirrels in line while they are waiting or after they have had their turn at a drink. Clapping songs, counting, I spy can help keep everyone together while getting drinks. It also helps to do a count down for each kid so they don't take forever getting a drink.. 1, 2, 3 and done. Next!

AS I MENTIONED ABOVE, there are MANY variations on this, but I am hopeful this can serve as a guide. Note that I did not include rules or norms in this first class; there is plenty of time to go over these in subsequent classes :) My goal with any first class for preschool and Kindergarten is to keep it low key, with little expectation of output on their part, and let them start to get to know ME by the tone of my voice,  my smile, my welcoming demeanor and upbeat time together. :)


  1. I would be happy if you guys could share more detailed, bright and clear lesson plans. Thank you in advance for your assistance!