2nd ESO

Title: Reverse poem. Anorexia
Year/s: 1st or 2nd ESO
Cross curricular links: This might be an opportunity to work alongside with the Counselling Department or the biology teacher. 
Proposed by: Julia Alonso Fernández 

The text I have chosen is a reverse poem. I just loved the poem Pretty Ugly and I was willing to look more into this type of literary texts. While searching for some examples, I found the one I have chosen for my lesson plan: Anorexia.

This text can serve an introductory purpose before starting a unit about food and healthy diet or just about health.

As far as the activities are concerned, I would start by handing out a copy of the poem to each student without revealing the secret (it is a reverse poem!). I would ask them to read the poem aloud and, afterwards, it would be interesting to discuss their feelings after reading the poem, how they think the girl feels and why.

Then, to bring a little bit of happiness to the classroom, students would read the passage from bottom to top.

The next activity is to record a video of the poem. These two videos can inspire students who need some ideas:

AACS 7th grade created this and presented it at her Easter Chapel. Subtitles included

Just a few more ideas: what about reading the poem while a student acts out the message? What about using objects such as a mirror, a scale, a clover? or a smiley face?
However, I would prefer them to be as creative as they can.
Some extra ideas that can be done after or instead of recording the video:

Students can create a word cloud or an animated word cloud.

Below you can see an example of a word cloud about the topic. The animated word cloud of this image can be found here:

If the word cloud is done, each student picks one word and writes his/her own acrostic poem. Likewise, students can write an acrostic poem with a related word of their choice. There are different levels of difficulty when it comes to writing this kind of poetry, so we can show them some samples depending on their skills.

Title: An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, by W.B. Yeats
Year/s: 2nd ESO bilingual. The treatment of the poem will be adapted to this level, 13 years old, maybe 14.
Cross curricular links: History
Proposed by: Julio Marinas


I know that I shall meet my fate,
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

-A class with 20 students in the 3rd quarter of the academic year.
-Length: 50 minutes.
-All the students have computers and internet connection.
-The class has a projector and a screen.

1st-5 minutes. Reading and listening activity. Students have photocopies of the poem. Reading the poem aloud by different students and by the teacher with their own intonation.
Then, everyone listens to the poem using these two links:

2nd-10 minutes. 

Speaking activity. Resolution of doubts about the meaning of expressions or specific words relating them to the sense of the poem. No translation of the poem is provided to the students and explanations are given in English. They express their opinions about, for example:

no likely end
I balanced all/in balance with
waste of breath
At the end, they try to find synonyms for these words and phrases.

3rd-10 minutes. 

Research activity. In groups. The teacher suggests some ideas related to poem and asks students to surf the web to find the answers. They have to take notes in order to explain the ideas to the rest of the groups. For example:
-Group A- Irish airman
-Group B- Kiltartan Cross
-Group C- quatrain
-Group D- Robert Gregory

4th-5 minutes. Rhyming game. The different groups look for the rhymes and change them with another words that rhyme again. It doesn’t matter if they modify the meaning or the purpose of the poem. A quatrain for each group.

5th-20 minutes. 

Create story boards. In groups. The teacher explains the process to create a story board in this web app.

The groups show, in three scenes using the basic version, what the poem conjures up in their minds or simply some facts or thoughts about the story.         

       You may consider the following when planning this activity:

  • This is a etailed lesson plan could perhaps be used over more than one lesson depending on the class or time available.
  • There are many cross-curricular links here that could be explored using the poem as a springboard. Links to World Wars are an immediate choice but the context of the poem could be useful for exploring topics like Imperial Britian and the Irish experience of, and attitude towards, the First World War. 

Title: How do I love thee?’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Year/s: 2nd ESO
Cross curricular links: 

Proposed by: Beatriz González

I planned this lesson for Saint Valentine’s Day. It was aimed to my 2º E.S.O group.

The day before Saint Valentine’s I started the lesson by reading aloud ‘How do I love thee?’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Next, I asked who wanted to read other poems aloud and quite a lot of students volunteered to read.

We read different poems from different periods (I found them at www.poets.org ) and we talked about the different ways of writing a poem and some of the elements of poetry:  rhyme, rhythm, repetition…

  Next, I split up the large group into smaller groups by giving them a piece of paper with a name, and they had to look for his/her partner.
Once I had the smaller groups made, I gave them a worksheet with some words related to love and more words rhyming with those. I told them, that they would have to use those words to create their own poem.
 14th February, Saint Valentine’s Day.  I gave the students some more time to finish their poems, and as they handed me the poems I gave them an envelope with a nice love quote.
They enjoyed the activity, although some of them have used an amount of poetic licence…and their poems are not easy to understand. ;)

How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

  • The texts use difficult enough vocabulary for a 2nd year ESO group –bear in mind how to work through vocabulary issues and antiquated language such as 'thee’ ‘o’er’
  • What resources can be used to go through elements of poetry such as rhyme, repetition and rhythm?
  • Both of these poems are by well known poets. If there are audio or video files available online where students could listen to the poems you could then develop this into a gap-fill listening exercise using the rhyming words that you’d like to familiarise students with. 

Title: La Princesa está triste, de Rubén Darío
Year/s: 2nd ESO
Proposed by: Manuela Sánchez


• To practice phonetics and rhythm
• To review vocabulary
• Tp produce sentences in present perfect
• To propose hypothesis (may, might)
• To arouse creativity

• To encourage students to express their sensibility

SESSIONS : 3, 50 minutes each

Click here to access this activity.

Title: Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
Year/s: 2nd ESO
Proposed by: Juan Luis Pérez

Click here to download activity.

 ‘Pygmalion’ is an excellent choice for practicing spelling and pronunciation and the activities detailed here are both entertaining and educational. They shaw how to bring the dramatic work to life through various activities which will ensure that students not only understand the text, but get real enjoyment out of these lessons. 

Title: The Twits by Roald Dahl
Year/s: 2nd ESO
Cross curricular links: IT and Drama
Proposed by: Nélida Prieto

AUTHENTIC TEXT: The Twits by Roald Dahl. Children’s Book

Free PDF:

TARGETED STUDENTS: 2nd Year British/ Bilingual Students.


a) Contextualization

    Group of 14 students aged 13 with a solid basis of the language. Accustomed to use English as the language of communication since kindergarten, their oral and written comprehension level is especially high. One of the students has reduced mobility. 

b) Material: 

The course book this year is Solutions Pre-Intermediate, whose unit 7 deals with the topic of manners and etiquette.

The Twits is the reader during this second term. Students have been asked to read two chapters a week for the last four weeks. 

The Twits is the story of two revolting characters (husband and wife) who continuously play the nastiest practical jokes on each other out of hatred for one another.

Each chapter - only a few pages long – tells us about the most disgraceful situations, e.g.: Mr. Twit hiding a frog in his wife's, Mr Twit tying his wife to lots of balloons so that she literally flies away, or Mrs. Twit tricking her husband into eating worms in spaghetti.


d) Timing: 1 period a week for 7 weeks.

e) Objectives:   

1.  Reading comprehension of a story.
2.  Table manners and etiquette.
3.  Writing while reflecting on the story.
4.  Should/ Have to

f)  Procedures:

1- During the first 5 weeks.

BEFORE THE LESSON: Students are asked to read two chapters a week before our reading lesson.

-3m: WARMING UP: Students tell the teacher about previous chapters.

-10m: In class, teacher reads a couple of chapters to students. Pupils listen and read at the same time.

-5m: Students work in pairs to summarize one chapter each.

-5m: Teacher checks understanding by throwing questions to the group.

-20m: In pairs, students role play the parts of Mr and Mrs Twit in either chapter in class. In all of them, the characters show no manners at all.
There are props (long beard, crazy hair wig, old dress) at school. Students are welcome to bring in further props (walking stick).

-5m: PLENARY: As a group, students give their opinion about Mr and Mrs Twits’ behavior. They explain how their behavior should have been different by using modal verbs should and have to. 

HOMEWORK: They are asked to write a 100 word essay on their reflection.

2- 6th and 7th weeks.

BEFORE THE LESSON: Students are asked to google www.storyboardthat.com and https://wonderunit.com/storyboarder/.


1.  At the computer lab, in pairs, the students create the story of Mr and Mrs Considerate by turning the twit characters into friendly, sympathetic people. https://wonderunit.com/storyboarder/.

The chapters (29) are assigned by the teacher. 2 chapters per pair.

2.  Students finish their stories at home.

g) Adaptations and Accommodations:
The student with reduced mobility is assisted by another student (randomly chosen.)

h) Assessment:

-        Students have to create 5 pieces of writing in which they reflect upon the characters’ behavior; which in turn conveys their understanding of the readings.
-        A Story Board on the desired/ exquisite manners the characters should have.

i)   Cross-curricular links:

Eating manners around the world.
IT: Create a Story Board.
Drama: Act out a story.

j)  Web Resources:

There are plenty of online resources. Some of those are:
There is also the movie:

This activity enables students to practice modal verbs in an entertaining way, thus allowing them to practice these structures without having to rely on traditional exercise drills.

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