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Planning lessons is always challenging both for young teachers and experienced ones. In this article I offer you to find information about planning CLIL lesson. If you are interested, follow this link and read the article “How do we plan a CLIL lesson or series of lessons?” written by teacher-trainer of CLIL methodology Jaxalykova Assel.


How do we plan a CLIL lesson or series of lessons?


Before we can plan a CLIL lesson or series of lessons, we need to be clear about our CLIL contexts and teaching aims.

We need to identify the content knowledge and skills which learners will be taught.

We also need to consider the different stages of the lesson and the sequence of a series of CLIL lessons.

Key concepts

In order to focus on the learner rather than the teacher, learning outcomes are often used. These are statements of what most learners should be able to know, be able to do and be aware of as the result of a learning experience. Learning outcomes can  be wide or narrow but they need to be achievable and measurable

Learning outcomes also focus on learning to learn. An example is: to be able to give peer feedback to help improve someone’s work.

There are many advantages of using learning outcomes. For teachers:

  • they help describe courses clearly;
  • they provide continuity;
  • they focus on whole class, group and individual needs;
  • they guide the design of tasks;
  • they can be used as a checklist for feedback;
  • they make assessment clear.

For learners:

  • they are learner centred;
  • they show what should be achieved;
  • they help learners have goals so they can check progress;
  • they enable differentiation (making provision for less able and more able learners).

Planning a lesson

Look at the example of a CLIL science lesson plan for young learners. It is the first lesson and fits into the course or syllabus at the start of a unit about materials and their properties.

Content: Introduction to magnetism: materials and their properties

Teaching aims: to enable learners to understand that different materials have different properties; to develop learners’ abilities to group materials and to predict,

observe and record findings of an experiment; to raise learners’ awareness of



Learning outcomes


the names of some materials and their


that some materials are magnetic and some are not

Be able to:

classify materials according to different

criteria using a Venn diagram

make predictions

observe and record findings

Be aware:

that some materials have iron (fe) in them

of how to cooperate in a group



Can the learners …

identify and name properties of a range of materials?

sort materials into different groups and state classification?

make predictions?

record findings accurately?

cooperate in a group?




Revisited: familiar classroom objects

fabric, glass, metal, paper, plastic, wood

New: paper clip, jar, envelope, straw, bottle top



identifying objects and properties of the objects

comparing different materials

classifying materials

predicting and reasoning

Examples of cognition

sorting materials into two different groups

(see Venn diagrams below)

classifying (range of properties)

guessing and then explaining why some

materials are magnetic


be aware of recycling issues

Example of citizenship

separating magnetic and non-magnetic

objects into different bins



3–4 bags of 10–12 objects (at least half of which are known to the learners), magnets

Drawings of two Venn diagrams on board: A B

Worksheets + differentiated worksheets for less able learners

Vocabulary cards


Whole class: Activate prior knowledge of materials. Learners look around the classroom and ‘point to something made of …’

CLIL learners are encouraged to produce content language which they already know in a warm-up or brainstorming activity. This is called activating prior knowledge and learners might use some L1 to do this. We can then translate, if appropriate. In this way CLIL learners are encouraged to produce content language at the start of the lesson

Groups: Sort materials from bags into two different groups using the Venn diagrams.

Sort materials according to properties given (adjectives and opposites):

predict which objects are magnetic and which are non-magnetic

check predictions using magnets

Feed back ideas. Were there any surprises?

Individually: Learners record observations on worksheets.

Whole class: Final plenary: TPR – some learners act as magnets, some are materials – who sticks?

Learners benefit from a plenary at the end of a CLIL lesson, when the whole class

is asked a few questions about what they have learned. Questions might include: tell me three new things you learned today; what was new; what was difficult; what was surprising; what more would you like to find out? Again, some L1 may be used if learners are new to CLIL.

Differentiation: Additional vocabulary cards and gap-fill sentences.

Follow-up: Investigate and separate school rubbish for recycling


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