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ESL Family Vocabulary Lesson Plan

Comparing Families Around The World

Student Level


Video Length: 1:27

Updated on: 05/19/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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ESL Family Vocabulary Lesson Plan Description


This ESL family vocabulary lesson plan contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for A2 beginners and low intermediate students. By the end of the lesson, students will understand diverse family structures and their significance across cultures. They'll expand their vocabulary on family types, such as "nuclear" and "single-parent”, among a few others. Finally, students will be able to ask questions about and describe family members.


This ESL lesson plan on family vocabulary and families starts by having students discuss various types of families, such as nuclear, extended, and single-parent families, as well as communal ones. Students then engage in discussion questions about family and what it means to them. They can explore both varying definitions of family and the concept of lineage.


Students watch a video that explores how families are similar and different across various cultures, focusing on the influence of societal norms on family structures. In the viewing stage, students will match sentence parts to complete ideas about family types and origins. They will also write brief responses on how culture affects family structure.


In the post-viewing exercise, students will debate and discuss questions about family. Some of them include whether friends or pets can be considered family. Then, students will fill in the blanks in sentences from the video. In this activity, they’ll use vocabulary from the video about family types and lineage.

In the final part of the viewing follow-up phase of the lesson, students have the chance to work with an example of a family tree and identify the names of relatives and other family members in it. In it, students can learn certain ESL family vocabulary terms that include:

  • niece
  • nephew
  • sister-in-law
  • brother-in-law
  • son-in-law
  • granddaughter
  • grandson


Finally, they will engage in an activity to match and describe relationships between various family members using newly acquired vocabulary.

In this activation, students choose three family members and describe them to the class or a classmate. They can also work with just you, the teacher, if the lesson is one-to-one. This task allows students to practice the vocabulary they've learnt in the lesson while sharing personal stories and asking questions about each other's families. This type of activity puts the family vocabulary into a real-life context.

Benefits of using this ESL family vocabulary lesson plan:

  • Real-life Relevance: Family is a topic that students can relate to because everyone has a family in some form. It makes the lesson meaningful and engaging.
  • Practical Vocabulary: Learning about different family types and members provides practical vocabulary that students can use in their daily lives and conversations.
  • Cultural Awareness: Exploring diverse family structures and customs from around the world enhances cultural awareness and promotes tolerance and understanding.
  • Communication Skills: Discussing family relationships and structures helps students improve their communication skills, as they often talk about their own families during the lesson.
  • Inclusivity: The lesson plan can be adapted to accommodate students from various family backgrounds, making it inclusive and respectful of cultural differences.

Overall, ESL lessons about families around the world resonate well with students because the topic is universally relatable and addresses cultural nuances that go beyond simple vocabulary learning. If you're looking for an engaging approach to teaching terms related to family structures and roles to beginner students or topics on cultural diversity, this is the lesson plan for you!

Video Description

The video explores the ways that families are similar and different around the world.

Lesson Activities


Family, Family Types, Family Trees


Matching Activity, Short Answers


Images, Family Types, Family Members, Family Trees


Get To Know Each Other's Family, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Families, Family Trees, Family Members

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