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Sportsmanship ESL Lesson Plan

Incredible Story Of Sportsmanship

Student Level


Video Length: 4:06

Updated on: 02/29/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Sportsmanship ESL Lesson Plan Description


This sportsmanship ESL lesson plan provides activities, worksheets, and digital materials tailored for advanced C1 students. Through a variety of engaging activities and discussions, students will understand sportsmanship, be able to give examples of it, and be able to use the past perfect to describe a story of sportsmanship.


This ESL lesson plan on sportsmanship starts by students watching a short video showcasing an act of sportsmanship in a tennis match and discussing their reactions. Then, they engage in guided discussions about the meaning of sportsmanship and its importance in competition. Finally, students consider two sports scenarios, imagining themselves in challenging situations and exploring both sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike conduct in each scenario.


In this activity, students watch an interview on the Ellen Degeners show, which focuses on an act of sportsmanship. In the video, two high school girls in North Dakota, describe their version of events in a cross-country race. Melanie Bailey displayed remarkable sportsmanship by carrying her injured rival, Danielle Lenoue, on her back to safety after Danielle hurt her knee. In the activities, students summarize the story, respond to true/false/not given statements, and answer short questions based on the video content.


In the viewing follow-up phase, students reflect on the sportsmanship displayed in the video through discussions. They pick some adjectives that may describe Melanie's character, or the story in general. They also discuss some reasons why others hadn't helped Melanie when they saw her injured during the race. Then, in the second part, students match some events of Melanie’s and Danielle’s story to a visual timeline. They answer some questions about the use of the past perfect simple in the story. Then, they analyze some short stories about sports, and identify where the past perfect simple should be used. They practice rewriting these actions in the past perfect simple tense.


Students choose between two activity options: crafting a sportsmanship story (Option A) or discussing sportsmanship-related vocabulary (Option B). Option A involves students choosing a sport and creating a story demonstrating sportsmanship, incorporating the past perfect simple tense. They then take on roles: one student becomes the character in the story (Student A) and is interviewed by another student acting as a talk show host (Student B), who asks questions about the story.

Alternatively, Option B focuses on discussing sportsmanship-related vocabulary phrases such as "to be a class act" and "to keep your cool," determining their meanings and providing examples of good or bad sportsmanship for each.


Creativity: The option to craft a sportsmanship story allows students to tap into their creativity and imagination while using language structures such as the past perfect tense to narrate their stories effectively.

Grammar Focus: The lesson plan includes grammar activities that focus on the past perfect tense, helping students understand its usage in storytelling and narrative contexts.

Empathy & Respect: By discussing examples of sportsmanship and reflecting on scenarios where they must consider both sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike conduct, students get the chance to develop empathy and respect for others in competitive settings.

Video Description

This talkshow interview with Ellen Degeneres explores the story of a cross-country race in North Dakota. In it, Melanie Bailey displayed remarkable sportsmanship by carrying her injured rival, Danielle Lenoue, on her back to safety after Danielle hurt her knee.

Lesson Activities




Video Summary, True/False/Not Given Statements, Short Answers


Adjectives, Phrases related to sportsmanship


Past Perfect Simple


Tell A Tale Of Sportsmanship: Talk Show Interview, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics


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