ESL/EFL Curriculum & Lesson Plans

The basic outline of Genki English is …

Step 1.
Songs & Games
to learn the English
Step 2.
Put the English to use in real projects!

  • The aim of Genki English is to get the kids able to say * anything they want to say * in English, in as short a period of time as possible. We do that using the themes below.
  • The themes were chosen by researching hundreds and hundreds of kids and finding out whatthey want to say. ( But the curriculum is also now used to teach many adults as they find the course much more fun than traditional textbooks.)
  • If you are teaching in a normal elementary, junior high or private English school then I would recommend using these lessons as the main base of your course.
  • If you have a set textbook that you can’t change, then use the lessons below as a “spice” to liven up your classes. e.g. Hi Friends!
  • The lessons are presented in a thought out way that allows for plenty of review and a balance between topics that are very easy and those that may present a bit of a challenge. However the curriculum is mostly non-linear in format, so please feel free to mix and match, and change the order as much as you like. All classes are different and it is very important to mold the curriculum to the children’s interests and abilities, not the other way round.
  • The songs & software are the reason this programme has become so successful. They allow you to teach a theme very quickly (as you have a solid goal) and the students can then use the material to review everyday, even if you are not present. e.g. at home, on the lunchtime broadcasts, morning assembly or cleaning time.
  • Reviewing of the material is very important. Review the previous lessons at the beginning of each new lesson by using the previous song. Plus I always leave room for lessons that are purely for review.
  • Each lessons consists of one English question and several answers to the question. Questions, rather than statements, are what children most usually want to communicate. The quantity of material allows a full theme to be taught, with a bit of practice, in one 45 minute lesson.
  • Each lesson should be broken down into the following sections:
    • 1. Warm up/Review (3-5 minutes)
    • 2. Introduction of new English (15-20 minutes), including teaching of the song. Use this 3 step approach to keep kids interest and energy levels high.
      • a) introduce new vocab
      • b) teach song a cappella with the “Mini Lesson”
      • c) sing together with the music,
    • 3. Practice of new material (15-20 minutes)
    • (See the “planning a fun 45 minute lesson” page for more details)
  • And of course all the lessons are designed to be lots of fun!

Needless to say it takes quite a bit of time to get to step 2.
But keep it in the back of your mind as we start with ….

Easy, easy lessons

 # Title Target English
 1 Disco Warm Up! Genki Disco Warm Up stand up, sit down, clap, cheer etc.Getting the class under control and super confident!
 2 Rock, Paper, Scissors Rock, Paper, Scissors The game of “Janken” in English, getting the kids used to English, having fun and learning to always try again!
 3 What's your name? What’s your name?
What’s your name? My name is …… Nice to meet you.
Key skill: eye contact!
 4 How are you?  How are you? I’m .. hungry, tired, cold, sad, happy, great, good, OK.Always ending on a high note.
 5 I’m a superhero! I can….

I can jump, run, hide, cook, stretch, climb, swim, fly.Plus Superhero body language to bring all your classes to life.
 6 Left and rightLeft, right, forward, back, stop, stand up, sit down, spin, jump
7  Pronouns I am, you are   Pronouns: I, you, he, she, we are happypronouns + verb to beMix with the previous themes to Instantly multiply the amount of language learnt so far.



Numbers & More

 # Title Target English
 8 Numbers 1 to 12 Numbers 1 to 12 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
 9 How old are you? How old are you? I’m … (years old). 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12
(including 1 to 12 makes the step to teaching the time easier)
10 What's the weather like? Weather What’s the weather like? / How’s the weather? It’s….. rainy, cloudy, windy, snowy, sunny, fine, hot, a beautiful day.
 11 Good Morning! Greetings. Good Morning Review of good morning, good afternoon etc.
12  I'd like some food...  Do you like food?

Do you like…..? I like….. + kids favourite foods
 13  Do you like animals?  Do you like animals? Same English as above with animals.
 14    I’m sorry! – Excuse me. It’s OK!


Once you have the hang of those, you can try the ….

Linking together lessons

 # Title Target English
 15 I like animals I like animals I like snails, kangaroos, bears,ducks, camels, spiders, giraffes, rhinos,hippos, penguins, dinosaurs, bees.
 16 Do you like vegetables? I like (superhero!) vegetables I like onions, peas, carrots, beans, mushrooms, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes
 17 Do you have any pets? Do you have any pets? “Do you have ….?”, “I have a ….”
hamster, rabbit, turtle, goldfish, lion, lizard, horse, gorilla
 18 Animal Voices Animal VoicesI have a … dog, cat, bird, mouse, chicken, sheep, cow, pig, elephant, monkey, snake, tiger + the sounds they make.
19   Baby Rabbit Family Who’s this? This is my …… dad, brother, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa
20 Monkey Family Baby Monkey Family Who’s this?This is my … brother, sister, dad, mum (mom), grandma
 21 Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I have 1,2,3,4 brothers.
I have 1,2,3,4 sisters.


Sharks & Monsters!


# Title Target English
  22  Under the sea  Under the sea “What can you see?”, “I can see a …”
whale, squid, seahorse, jellyfish, crab, dolphin, shark, starfish
 23     Head & Shoulders head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth nose
 24  Make a Face  Make a Face Parts of the face: “Put on the …” ; “Draw a ….”
nose, ears, mouth, eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, hair, tongue.
 25     Let’s make a monster Next set of body parts e.g. neck, toes, fingers, etc.
 26  Doctor Doctor! Body Parts   Doctor, Doctor! Body Parts
Doctor, doctor, my …. head, arm, leg,
stomach, hand, foot, back, tooth …. hurts
 27 Winter Clothes Baby Monkey’s Winter Clothes Put on, take off your hat, scarf, coat, boots
  Baby Monkey’s Summer Clothes Don’t forget your … plus hat, t-shirt, shoes, shorts, bucket, spade, fishing rod, shades, sunscreen


# Title Target English
 29    Treasure Adventure Phonics “ure” sound + there’s a pirate, hat, parrot, map, ship, island, shark + presentations
30 How many? How many … do you have? How many …. do you have?
 31 How much? How much? How much is that…? I’ll take it! Thank you, goodbye
 32 Numbers 13 to 20 Numbers 13 to 20 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
 33    Rocket Launch: Numbers 10 to 100
 34   Shapes! Triangle, circle, diamond, oval, rectangle, heart, square, star
 34b Christmas shapes I can see a triangle, circle, diamond, oval, rectangle, heart, square, star


I can, I can, I can!


 # Title Target English
 35 Fruit Market What’s this? What’s that? Apple, orange, pineapple, banana, lemon, cherry, strawberry, watermelon, peach, grape, pear, kiwi fruit,
 36 Can you speak English? Can you speak….? Can you speak English, French, Chinese etc.
 37 Soccer : Come on! Come on! Come on, Come on!

kick, pass, shoot, save, catch, throw, head, score.
 37b Soccer : Come on! Come on! Can you kick?

Can you … kick, pass, shoot, save, catch, throw, head, score?
 38 Can you play the ...? I can do it! Confidence building! Can you do it? I can do it!
Can you play the + musical instruments
 39 Where are you from? + Countries Where are you from? Where are you from? I’m from……  any other countries that are relevant to the children’s lives.

Some Bigger Themes


 # Title Target English
 40 Where do you live? Where do you live? “Where do you live?”, “I live near the….”
forest, river, bridge, farm, hospital, station, castle, supermarket.
 41 How do you say ... in English? How do you say ? How do you say … in English? Review theme
 42  I am a robot Phonics “o” sound + “on” & “off”
 43 Mr Octopus Mr Octopus Numbers, body parts and “My name is…” review
 44 What time is it?  What time is it, Mr Wolf? What time is it? it’s 1…12 o’clock.
 45  What time is it 2  What time is it? Part 2 It’s 1:05, 2:10, 3:15 etc,
 46    Summer sports / simple past I like swimming, horse riding (horseback riding), sailing,
windsurfing, skateboarding, cycling, scuba diving
 47    Winter Sports I like snowboarding, skiing, ice skating,
making snowmen, ice hockey, ski jumping,
sledging (sledding), snowball fighting

Questions, Answers & Colours


# Title Target English
 48 What sports do you play? What sports do you play?
I play…. tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, rugby, baseball
 49 When is your birthday? Months of the Year When is your birthday? + Months of the Year January, February, March etc. When is your birthday?
 50 How did you get here? How did you get here? I came here by… aeroplane, car, train, rocket, helicopter, boat, bus, mountain bike
 51  Colours & Pirates red, blue, black, white, grey, brown, pink, green
 52a  What colour is Christmas? What colour is Christmas? red, white, green, gold, blue, purple, orange, silver
 52b What's your favourite colour? What’s your favourite colour? red, blue, green, yellow, black, white, pink, orange, purple, gold, silver, bronze
 53 What's your favourite flavour?
What’s your favourite flavour?
I like … ice cream flavours.
 What’s your favourite subject? I like math, art, science, P.E., music, English, social studies

I want to be, I want to do!


 # Title Target English
 55  What's your favourite...?  What’s your favourite … ? What’s your favourite … ? movie, sport, cartoon, video game, pet, food, comic book, TV show.
 56 Where are you going? Where are you going? Where are you going? I’m going to …. + mountain, pool, sea, beach, school, shops, park, home + other words that are relevant to the children
 57 Eat! Drink! Dance! Basic commands used in the following songs.
 58 What are you doing? What are you doing? + I’m… eating, drinking, reading, sleeping, singing, dancing, cooking, fishing
 59 What do you want to do? I want to …. + verbs above
 60 What do you want to be? I want to be a …. + jobs
 60b    What do you want to be for Halloween? Same “I want to be a …” + Halloween outfits!
 61 What do you do? What do you do? I’m a … pilot, chef, farmer, teacher, doctor, student, fire fighter, police officer, carpenter, singer, dentist

Describing Things!


 # Title Target English
 62 Excuse me, are you... Excuse me, are you…?

Are you hungry/tired/cold/sad etc.
 63 Is it..?  Guessing Game Adjectives: I have a question! Is it… big, small, a fruit, an animal, heavy, light, red, green
 64 More Questions Adjectives: More questions Is it good, bad, slow, fast, expensive, cheap, scary, cute?
 65 It's not bad, it's good! Adjectives: It’s not bad, it’s good! It’s (not) hot, cold, new, cold, good, bad, high, low, fast, slow
 66 I'm thirsty  I’m thirsty! I’m thirsty. Would you like a drink? Yes, please!
I’d like an orange juice, a glass of milk, a cola, a lemonade, a cup of tea, a hot chocolate, a milkshake.
 67 What would you like for breakfast? What would you like for breakfast?
I’d like some bacon, ham, eggs, bread, cereal, pancakes, fish, salad.


More Food & Prepositions


# Title Target English
68 & 69 I'd like some food... Ordering Food from A to Z I’d like some… apples, bananas, cheese, doughnuts, eggs, fish, grapes, hot dogs, ice cream, jelly, ketchup, lettuce, mayonnaise. Try the “Do you like food?” theme before this one!
 70 Shopping: Bigger please! Bigger Please bigger, smaller, slower, faster, cheaper, “Is this OK?”
 71   Days of the week Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, today
 72 When, when, when? When, When, When? When? This year, last year, next year, next month etc., Next week etc., today, yesterday, tomorrow.

Bugs, Spiders & Prepositions

# Title Target English
 73  Bugs!  Creepy Crawlies What’s that? What’s this? It’s a … cockroach, beetle, caterpillar, butterfly, ant, worm, dragonfly, mosquito
 74    Prepositions: Where is the spider?
Under, on, behind, in front of, in, next to , near
 75  Under, on, in Where is Mr Monkey?  Prepositions: Where is Mr Monkey?
Where is …? He’s near, next to, in front of, behind, under, on, in
 75b  Where are the Christmas Presents?  Where are the Christmas presents? Next to, under, on etc.
 76  Where is Baby Monkey? Rooms of the House  Where is Baby Monkey? Is he in the … kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, dining room, garage, attic, garden.
76b   Who is in the haunted house? Who is in the …. + kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, dining room, garage, attic, garden.
77     Look at me! Look at me, him, her, us, them etc.
 78  What do you think of ... ? I think it's ... What do you think of … ? What do you think of …? I think it’s/he’s/she’s good, great, cool, excellent.
 79      Get well soon!

- The very latest lessons!


# Title Target English
80 & 81 May I borrow your …. stationery. May I borrow your pencil, pen, ruler, pencil case?crayons, books, scissors, stapler, glue, eraser, calculator, brush, tape, pencil sharpener, paint
 82    Phonics “i” song  getting ready for phonics!
 83    North, South, East, West
 84    Phonics “u” song
 85  Whose is it? It’s mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs etc.
 86    Baby Dinosaur, what did you do? I ate, went, drank, did, said, rode, put on, slept
 87    Yes, I can!


Easter & Halloween

We take the regular English the kids want to say, but use the fun of the holidays to make it even more exciting!

 # Title Target English
88  Easter ... Easter Egg Hunt “Look, in the ….”
trees, grass, pond, flowers, bath, bed, fridge
 89    Who is in the haunted house? Who is in the …. + kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, dining room, garage, attic, garden.
90 Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween Happy Halloween! “I’m scared”, “Look, there’s a …”
wizard, witch, ghost, mummy, bat, broom, wand, vampire
 91   Skeleton Soup Give me …. + body parts + foot/feet etc.
92 Apple Bobbing Apple Bobbing Apple Bobbing rules for Halloween.
93 Trick or Treat Trick or Treat Trick or Treat + Scarecrow Soup, Skeleton Steak, Monster Mash, Pirate Pancakes, Black Cat Cookies, Pumpkin Pie, Spider Spaghetti, Ice Cream Eyes!
 94      What do you want to be for Halloween? Same “I want to be a …” + Halloween outfits!
 95     Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my …. friends, school, toys, food, family, clothes, teacher



Christmas & New Year


 # Title Target English
 96   Gingerbread Man A play in English!
 97    Decorate the Christmas tree How about some + angels, candles, elves, turkey, holly, bells, snow, mistletoe
 98    Christmas shapes I can see a triangle, circle, diamond, oval, rectangle, heart, square, star
 99  What colour is Christmas?  What colour is Christmas? red, white, green, gold, blue, purple, orange, silver
100  Let's build a house  Let’s build a house windows, door, walls, roof, garden etc.
 101  Let's build a gingerbread house
  Let’s build a gingerbread house windows, door, walls, roof, garden etc.
 102  Let's build a snowman  Let’s build a snowman Body parts body, head, nose, neck, eyes, arms, buttons, mouth
 103  Where are the Christmas Presents?   Where are the Christmas presents? Next to, under, on etc.
 104 Genki Christmas Genki Christmas snowman, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas tree, Christmas stocking, candy cane, presents, Christmas card.
 105 What would you like for Christmas?
What would you like for Xmas? “What would you like for Christmas?” “I’d like a …”
robot, doll, bag, video game, bear, phone, rainbow, bone
 106  Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy New year!

All these themes you can find in the Teacher’s Set.

Printable Versions

Owners Club Members can also print out all the lesson plans in one go from the links below:
There are versions in different languages if you are team teaching with a teacher who isn’t confident in English.

( NEW: Here’s a Super Easy Version of the Lesson Plans with detailed step by step instructions for the first 34 themes. Use this if you don’t yet have confidence teaching Genki English! )



Spanish – en espanol

Mandarin Chinese

(follows the order of the
easy English book)




(up to “I like animals”)


Advanced Grammar Genki English

These lessons are all from the Advanced Genki English course.

Better than the best Comparative/superlative

If you had a million dollars… I’d …

  Excuse me, where’s the … ?
  Have you ever … Present Perfect
Dream Holiday Simple Future I will
  I have to … I can! Modals subjective / objective obligation
How you doing?
What shall I do today? Modal Shall
  Irregular Verbs

+ Exclusive Download Themes

If you are a member of the VIP Owners Club, you can also access these exclusive “beta test” lessons:

How many days till Christmas?

The Bremen Town Musicians

Goldilocks & the 3 Bears

What does Santa do? He ‘ third person “s”

And we’ll have more to come as we develop more lessons.

Then once the kids have mastered the English using the lessons above…

Step 2. Real Projects
For students who have completed most of the songs & game themes

Once children have studied the songs and games they will have a very solid base and be able to communicate most of what they would like to be able to say in English, the topics were, after all, chosen by talking to hundreds of kids and finding out what they wanted to ask people from other countries. From this point they actually use this English to learn about the World and gain “International Understanding”. This section of the curriculum is still under development, but two projects that are available and which work very successfully are:

These projects make full use of the technologies around today to allow the kids to directly communicate with their peers in other countries. It really instills a desire to communicate and learn more about the World!

Try them out and let me know how you get on!

What about reading / writing?

The curriculum above is all about getting the kids * speaking *.
In nearly every country in the world, this is the biggest challenge that needs addressing.

The good news is that once the kids speak well, by doing all the lessons above, it’s really easy to start reading using Genki Phonics to quickly learn to read. Then they can start to ace all the school tests!

Genki Phonics Workbook

But…. there’s no point starting reading or writing till the kids can actually talk in English.
I’m sure you’ve all seen what happens when things are done the opposite way round!

If you are forced to do reading earlier than have a look at the “5 minute phonics” page.

How was it?

Was that cool? Or are you full of questions? Don’t worry, there’s a lot to take in!

Have a read through this page again, check out the lesson plan overview videos, and simply email me if you have any unanswered questions.
It sometimes takes me a little time but I do reply to every single email I get sent
and I really appreciate all the questions as it helps me learn where I need to explain things more clearly!

In any case, enjoy, your students are going to love Genki English!
So pick up your Teacher’s Set and get started today!

5 Responses to “ ESL/EFL Curriculum & Lesson Plans”

  1. Fiona

    Hi Richard, I’ve been a member of your program for almost a year now and I have got to congratulate you on your incredible language package. It is a sound investment and the most enjoyable ‘job’ I’ve ever had! I get paid to play and have fun every week!! It is laughable. I also have to gush about the new improved website which is a far better reflection of what the course is about; energy, enthusiasm, colours, intrigue, I could go on but basically this new site shows off what is available instantly – fantastic job! Thanks again for the tips, updates and support. You are a LOVE! Keep it up! Best wishes

  2. Andrea

    Hi Richard, I teach in a state primary school in Hungary and I tried Genki English with 5 graders last week – it was amazing! They were singing, shouting, ejoying… otherwise they are exhausted, sleepy and want to go home as it is their 7th lesson. They just wanted more and asked if we were going to do it next time, too. It’s a HUGE help for me and for the children.

  3. Cynthia Takahashi

    Dear Richard, I sing your weather song with gestures in my 3rd graders..they liked it so much as I do like it because they remember the target words easily as they sing. And of course the big gestures that learned from Genki English. Thank you so much. It did not make me struggle to teach the new words.

  4. Stephanie Ecate

    Hi, Richard! You have an awesome ESL program! I have used most of your resources and they’ve all been very helpful to me and the students. Please put more of your videos on YouTube. Thank you!

  5. Leonardo Dias

    Hi, Richard. I’ve used your ideas for some months and they work great. I did the feelings lesson in a class with another lesson rather than the Genki’s and in another class I did almost the same thing, but I put in your Dinosour game, what made such a difference that I just can’t express clearly in words. The students were way more enthusiastic, exited and remebered at least twice faster than the students with whom I didn’t do the game. More videos please! Cya!

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