Help Please! What order to teach lessons in?

UPDATE: ย Thank you for all the feedback on this, the latest version of the curriculum is here!


I’ve got another favour to ask today!

As most of you are now using the download pack instead of CDs (don’t worry, cross grade offer coming soon!), it’s time to change the main menu to reflect the order in which to teach the lessons, rather than the order I made the CDs in.

There is the possibility of having several different orders and of course everything is still non-linear so you can match to any coursebook if you have to.

But I’d also love to have a “best example” order to teach the Genki English lessons in.

Here’s what I have so far, based on my experience, but I’d *love* to hear your input!

Do you think this order looks good?

Or any themes you always prefer to teach earlier/later/together separate etc.?

Please write up your thoughts in the comments and hopefully we can make up the easiest to teach, most amazingly effective recommended course!


Here we go …. ย Easy, easy lessons

ย  Title Target English
1 Disco Warm Up! Genki Disco Warm Up

stand up, sit down, clap, cheer etc.

2 Rock, Paper, Scissors Rock, Paper, Scissors

The game of “Janken” in English, getting the kids used to English and having fun. In Japan a very effective first lesson. For other countries, go straight to “What’s your name?”

3 What's your name? What’s your name?

What’s your name? My name is …… Nice to meet up.
+ eye contact!

4 How are you?

How are you? I’m .. hungry, tired, cold, sad, happy, great, good, OK.

5 I’m a superhero! I can….

I can jump, run, hide, cook, stretch, climb, swim, fly
6 Left and right

Left, right, forward, back, stop, stand up, sit down, spin, jump

7 Numbers 1 to 12 Numbers 1 to 12


8 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)

9 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.

10 Good Morning! Greetings. Good Morning

Review of good morning, good afternoon etc.

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

Linking together lessons

ย  Title Target English
11 I'd like some food... Do you like food?

Do you like…..? I like….. + kids favourite foods
12 Do you like animals? Do you like animals?

Same English as above with animals.

13 I like animals I like animals I like snails, kangaroos, bears, ducks, camels,
spiders, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, penguins,
dinosaurs, bees.
14 Do you like vegetables? I like vegetables I like onions, peas, carrots, beans,
mushrooms, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes
15 Do you have any pets? Do you have any pets?

“Do you have ….?”, “I have a ….”
hamster, rabbit, turtle, goldfish,
lion, lizard, horse, gorilla

16 Animal Voices Animal Voices I have a … dog, cat,

bird, mouse, chicken,
sheep, cow, pig, elephant, monkey,
snake, tiger + the sounds they make.

17 Monkey Family Baby Monkey Family Who’s this?
This is my … brother, sister, dad,
mum (mom), grandma
18 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.
19 Under the sea Under the sea “What can you see?”, “I can see a …”
whale, squid, seahorse, jellyfish, crab,
dolphin, shark, starfish
20 Head & Shoulders head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth nose

Faces, Clothes, Shopping & Shapes

ย  Title Target English
21 Make a Face Make a Face Parts of the face: “Put on the …” ;
“Draw a ….”
nose, ears, mouth, eyes, eyebrows,
cheeks, hair, tongue.
22 Let’s make a monster Next set of body parts e.g. neck,
toes, fingers, etc.
23 Doctor Doctor! Body Parts Doctor, Doctor! Body Parts
Doctor, doctor, my …. head, arm,
leg, stomach,
hand, foot, back, tooth …. hurts
24 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
26 Treasure Adventure Phonics “ure” sound + there’s a pirate,
hat, parrot, map, ship, island, shark
+ presentations
27 How many? How many … do you have?

How many …. do you have?

28 How much? How much? How much is that…? I’ll take it!
Thank you, goodbye
29 Numbers 13 to 20 Numbers 13 to 20

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,

30 Shapes! Triangle, circle, diamond, oval, rectangle,
heart, square, star
30b Christmas shapes I can see a triangle, circle, diamond, oval,
rectangle, heart, square, star

I can, I can, I can!

ย  Title Target English
31 Fruit Market What’s this? What’s that? Apple,
orange,ย pineapple, banana, lemon, cherry,
strawberry, watermelon, peach, grape,
pear, kiwi fruit,
32 Can you speak English? Can you speak….?

Can you speak English, French, Chinese etc.

33 Soccer : Come on! Come on! Come on, Come on!

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

Can you … kick, pass, shoot, save,
catch, throw, head, score?
35 Can you play the ...? I can do it!

Confidence building! Can you do it? I can do it!
Can you play the + musical instruments

36 Where are you from? + Countries Where are you from? Where are you from?
I’m from…… America,
Australia, Britain ( and constituent countries),
China, Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Japan
+ any other countries that are relevant
to the children’s lives.
37 Where do you live? Where do you live?

“Where do you live?”, “I live near the….”
forest, river, bridge, farm, hospital, station,
castle, supermarket.

38 How do you say ... in English? How do you say ? How do you say … in English?
Review theme
39 Mr Octopus Mr Octopus

Numbers, body parts and “My name is…” review

40 I am a robot

Phonics “o” sound + “on” & “off”

Questions, Answers, Favourites & Colours

ย  Title Target English
41 What time is it? What time is it, Mr Wolf?

What time is it? it’s 1…12 o’clock.

42 What time is it 2 What time is it? Part 2

It’s 1:05, 2:10, 3:15 etc,

43 What sports do you play? What sports do you play?
I play…. tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, rugby, baseball
44 When is your birthday? Months of the Year When is your birthday? + Months of the Year

January, February, March etc.

When is your birthday?

45 How did you get here? How did you get here?

I came here by… aeroplane, car, train, rocket, helicopter, boat, bus, mountain bike

46 Colours & Pirates

red, blue, black, white, grey, brown, pink, green

46b What colour is Christmas? What colour is Christmas?

red, white, green, gold, blue, purple, orange, silver

47 What's your favourite colour? What’s your favourite colour?

red, blue, green, yellow, black, white,
pink, orange, purple, gold, silver, bronze

48 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

50 What's your favourite...? What’s your favourite … ?

What’s your favourite … ? movie, sport,

cartoon, video game, pet, food, comic book, TV show.

I want to be, I want to do!

ย  Title Target English
51 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

52 Eat! Drink! Dance!

Basic commands used in the following songs.

53 What are you doing?

What are you doing? + I’m… eating,
drinking, reading, sleeping, singing,
dancing, cooking, fishing

54 What do you want to do?

I want to …. + verbs above

55 What do you want to be?
I want to be a …. + jobs
55b What do you want to be for Halloween?

Same “I want to be a …” + Halloween outfits!

56 What do you do?

What do you do? I’m a … pilot, chef,
farmer, teacher, doctor, student,
fire fighter, police officer, carpenter,
singer, dentist

57 Pronouns I am, you are Pronouns: I, you, he, she, we are happy

pronouns + verb to be

58 Excuse me, are you... Excuse me, are you…?

Are you hungry/tired/cold/sad etc.
59 Is it..? Guessing Game Adjectives: I have a question!

Is it… big, small, a fruit, an animal,

heavy, light, red, green

59b More Questions Adjectives: More questions

Is it good, bad, slow, fast, expensive,
cheap, scary, cute?

60 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

I’d like some … & Prepositions

ย  Title Target English
61 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.

62 What would you like for breakfast?
What would you like for breakfast?
I’d like some bacon, ham, eggs, bread, cereal, pancakes, fish, salad.
63 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.

64 Shopping: Bigger please! Bigger Please

bigger, smaller, slower, faster, cheaper, “Is this OK?”

65 Where's the ,,,? Where’s the….?

Where’s the… toilet, phone, TV, teachers’ room, computer, piano, CD player?
Over there!

66 Days of the week

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, today

67 When, when, when? When, When, When?

When? This year, last year,
next year, next month etc.,
Next week etc., today, yesterday, tomorrow.

68 Bugs! Creepy Crawlies

What’s that? What’s this? It’s a … cockroach, beetle, caterpillar, butterfly, ant, worm, dragonfly, mosquito

69 Prepositions: Where is the spider?
Under, on, behind, in front of, in, next to , near
70 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
70b Where are the Christmas Presents? Where are the Christmas presents?

Next to, under, on etc.

Rooms, think & me …

ย  Title Target English
71 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.

72 Who is in the haunted house?

Who is in the …. + kitchen, living room,
bathroom, bedroom, dining room,
garage, attic, garden.

73 Look at me!

Look at me, him, her, us, them etc.

74 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.

75 Get well soon!

More Holidays & Special Events

ย  Title Target English
76 Easter ... Easter Egg Hunt

“Look, in the ….”
trees, grass, pond, flowers, bath, bed, fridge

77 Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! “I’m scared”, “Look, there’s a …”
wizard, witch, ghost, mummy, bat, broom, wand, vampire

78 Skeleton Soup

Give me …. + body parts + foot/feet etc.

79 Apple Bobbing Apple Bobbing

Apple Bobbing rules for Halloween.

80 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!

81 Thanksgiving

I thankful for my …. friends,
school, toys, food, family, clothes, teacher

82 Gingerbread Man

A play in English!

83 Decorate the Christmas tree

How about some + angels, candles,
elves, turkey, holly, bells, snow, mistletoe

84 Let's build a house Let’s build a house

windows, door, walls, roof, garden etc.

85 Let's build a gingerbread house
Let’s build a gingerbread house

windows, door, walls, roof, garden etc.

86 Let's build a snowman Let’s build a snowman

Body partsย body, head, nose, neck, eyes, arms, buttons, mouth

87 Genki Christmas Genki Christmas

snowman, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas tree, Christmas stocking, candy cane, presents, Christmas card.

88 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

89 Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

Happy New year!

Advanced Grammar Genki English

These lessons are all from theย Advanced Genki English course.

Better than the best


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

As you can see there’s quite in lot in ย Genki English these days – over 100 themes!

Looking forward to getting your feedback in the comments!

Be genki,


P.S. Big thanks to Red and Andrew for pushing me into getting this done! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.P.S. Remember the comment competition is on again this month, with one commentator chosen at random to win a free Genki English CD.

The more you comment, the more chance you have to win!

P.P.P.S. ย From the comments below, here’s another way to present the lessons. What do you think?

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

17 Responses to “Help Please! What order to teach lessons in?”

  1. Shelly

    Thank you for preparing this list.
    I was just doing something similar myself,since starting September I will start my new classes, I want to have a curriculum or plan ready to go.

    Not to add more to your already full table, but in a previous post you mentioned how lessons can work together like: where is the spider & rooms of a house to say: where is the kitchen? It’s next to the livingroom…
    Do you mind sharing a couple of more ideas on what lessons to use together?

    Thank you for your hard work,

  2. Valentina

    If we have them all in the download pack, we can easily change the order if we think it is more convenient for our groups of students. I think the order you propose is just fine.Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Gumby

    Wow to see it all listed again shows just how much you have available.

    I agree wtih Valentina that with the download pack there is a lot of freedom for teachers to create their own curriculum.

    My suggestion for the list you have is to make it more varied. Instead of grouping all the similar themes together, spread them out and include ways to link the themes. I think students would remember better when the content is linked (ex. Let’s make a monster with numbers, my name is.. I like…) as opposed to all the themes that deal with body parts.

    Another example:
    Do you have any pets? and Colors to go along with the Bigger/Smaller song so they can go shopping

    Again the What do you want to be? theme can be taught with What’s your favorite….? and then it can be reinforced later in the year with the Halloween theme.

    I think there is a lot of merit in recycling the language in different contexts in different times of the year.

    It does make more work for you though….

  4. Meli

    First,I think all teachers who belong to the EFL teacher community are very grateful to your hard work, creativeness and generosity to show it. Regarding another order, I think it would be also appropriate to continue with same type of lexical chunks and take this order 11,31,61,62,63(food). With regards personal information I would put lessons 3,4 and 36 one after the other, just because of the type of lexical chunks they mean in context.
    Best wishes and continue having success in all your commitments.

  5. richard

    These are all great comments, thank you. (And keep them coming!)

    Before I started teaching English I always used to look at curricula and syllabi as “Foggy Windows.”

    When you look at a steamed up window you don’t start from the top left corner moving down in strict order.

    Instead, you rub a big patch in the middle and begin to see a little of what you are (learning) looking at.

    From then on you have a choice, you can move up or down or left or right, wherever your interest takes you or wherever will let you see the most of the big picture underneath.

    Finally, if you want to, at the end you go back and rub out all the bits you’ve missed and, if you’re a real perfectionist, you rub out all the edges and corners so you can see exactly what you have been learning with a perfectly clear window.

    I always envisioned curricula like that, like stars or planets. And each one is linked to other ones that go well together.

    Doing things up this way would also help with adding new lessons e.g. I’ve no idea where to put the new stationery theme as I never teach it myself! ๐Ÿ™‚ But in this new way, we could just put it in and have it link up with the other subjects that go well with it.


    1) What do you call these types of diagrams with things all linking together? (It’s not a mind map as such, but I’m sure there must be a name for them and some software out there to make making them easier!)

    2) Are there enough distinct groups of topics, or would everything just end up linking to everything else??? (In which case it’s back to square one!)

    Anyway, thank you all for reminding me of this.

    And it is also so, so refreshing to see you thinking of the kids and how to change the curriculum to be best for them. That’s the sign of the fabulous teachers that you are!

  6. Margit


    would this mean that the actual order appearing on the software menu would change?
    I hope hope very much, that it doesn’T mean this. Because I put how many dozens of hours to make lesson plans for 5th and 6th grade figuring out a numbering system so the teachers will look at a very simple plan and see that they click CD 1-6 for the “Thank you topic” for example. If the order would change that would be really really tough for me. Well I guess in that case I just can refrain from more updating.

    Anyway as a “curriculum” on the site, or on paper, I think it is great to think the sequence over.
    This one you wrote out sounds fine.
    I do like gumbo’s idea as well, but it might be a separate page to do something like this as it would confuse otherwise.

    Sorry, not very helpful here?!

  7. richard

    Hi Margit, no need to worry! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m planning on having 3 options, one is the regular “CD” menu like now, one will be a new “curriculum order” and I’ll also put in an alphabetic text list of the themes to. There’ll be a simple button at the top to switch between then 3!

  8. richard

    Margit also just wrote in with the idea of doing different printable ones for different teaching situations.

    * One for if you are teaching 5th and 6th grades.
    * One for starting with 3, 4 year olds
    * One for specific tests or courses.

    What do you think?

    Any requests? Or do you have your own lists to share?

    (You can either write them in the comments or send them in. There’s also the possibility we could get a designer to make them look good for printing!)

  9. Margit

    Ok, my lists for teaching 5th and 6th grade at a public school in japan.

    I hate writing lesson plans like this (I love planning, but I hate the design they have to be in) and you can see this from the style they came out.

    Anyway, so these plans would help those teachers who have kid starting English in grade 5, the classes I teach are about 30-35 students, so that’s what the plans are based on.
    Does this help, Richard?

  10. Gumby

    First Margit, thanks for sharing what you did. You obviously put a lot of work into it and it is very generous of you to make it available to others!

    Richard I love the foggy window analogy! It is a good way to demonstrate how teachers adapt the GE materials to their own classroom situation.

    I also like the idea of having different options for menus. The alphabetical listing may be difficult, though, because the themes can be listed under different names.

    The mind map type list is a good way to demonstrate how themes can be tied together, but it is too confusing to use as a menu.

    Perhaps leave the listing as is since it is easy to find a song under these categories. Then maybe include a few examples of how to take the different themes to match with small children/ 5th and 6th year elementary/ create some type of story etc.

  11. Lines

    My first is : What’s your name?
    second Where are you from?
    third How old are you?
    fourth what day is it today?… and so on,

    Thank you song (seasons),
    Months topic…

    I always begin with easy things useful to speak about them.

    … My name is…, I’m from Spain, I’m six years old, I live in Ponferrada, It’s Monday…..

    I usualy use The disco song, transport song (they dance), left and right, I’m a robot… when my pupils are very tired and they move a lot and they need go out but it’s raining so we dance, sing and move a lot into the classroom.

    Thank you richard for all this wonderful software of games, songs easy to dance and english lessons.

  12. Monica Garcia

    Here is the list of the songs we have in our syllabus:
    Course #1
    Whatยดs your name?
    How are you?
    How do you say… in English?
    Doctor, Doctor
    Good morning
    Whatยดs your favourite colour?
    Fruit Market
    How old are you?
    What are you doing?
    What time is it?
    When is your birthday?
    Do you like?
    Animal voices
    Where, where, where?
    How much?

    Course #2
    Left and Right
    I can do it
    Whatยดs the weather like?
    Where are you from?
    Where are you going?
    Creepy Crawlies
    What do you do?
    Baby Monkey family
    What sports do you play?
    How did you get here?
    Where is Mr. Monkey?
    Food A-Z
    Whatยดs your favourite…?
    When, when, when?
    Left and Right

    Course #3:
    Bigger, please
    I have a question
    What do you think of him?
    Iยดm thirsty

    For 7 years we have seen once the students have gone through these songs, they can express themselves quite well, kind of they can say almost whatever they want at a starter level. =)
    Monica Garcia, Mexico

  13. Ksenia


    my personal experience :
    3 7 8 4
    13 11 12
    16 15
    29 27 28

    Generally great job!!!

  14. Darina

    I used “What are you doing?” and “Eat, drink, dance songs among the first songs in the course and it really worked well and children learnt them very easily and enjoyed it a lot. Also “Where are you going?” with “Where do you live?” and “Doctor, Doctor” with “Skeleton soup” and “Head and shoulders” – It was good for children to have “topic” vocabulary in different “contexts”.
    …Iยดm going to work on my the curriculum for my 2nd year pupils in a few days. Iยดll send it to you when itยดs ready, Richard.

  15. richard

    Just added the Advanced Grammar Genki English to the end of the list!

  16. Lucy

    This is exactly what I needed. Thanks so much for making my life easier! Much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments are closed