Lesson Plan on
Clothing Vocabulary & Shopping

This is a 1 1/4 hour - 1 1/2 hour (splittable) lesson on clothing vocabulary for beginning ESL students. It lets them practice their new vocabulary, and useful shopping vocabulary, by planning clothing stores in teams and then selling to other students.

Basic Planning

A detailed ESL Beginners’ lesson plan on clothing vocabulary & shopping. Student teams design clothing stores, plan inventory and prices, and 'sell' to other students. (+ labeled picture of clothing)

Lesson objective:

Students will name articles of clothing and ask and answer questions about clothing prices

Materials needed:

  • various articles of clothing,
  • a class set of worksheets for matching numbered clothing pictures with clothing vocabulary, easily available on the web, for example here (a worksheet on eslhq.com.)
    • clothing catalogs or ads to cut up, scissors, markers, & play money (optional) for each group of students


    • students are familiar with colors, “hot” and “cold”, and a few clothing names (jeans, sandals). 
    • Ss have learned and recently practiced “How much?” and “How many?”
    • Students know money words and have practiced asking about prices.

    Anticipated problems & solutions:

    Problem 1: Students might have problems with singulars and plurals.

    Solution: Pre-teach “pair of” with shoes, gloves, & with words that are never singular: pants, scissors, etc. Also remind students (orally and on the board) before the role play to use “How much is this ____?””It’s $___” with singulars & ”How much are these ____?” “They’re____” with plurals.

    Problem 2: Ss may also have difficulty with “How much?” & “How many?”

    Solution: we’re not practicing count/non-count, so just review “How many?” during vocabulary presentation Q & As. While giving instructions for the production role play, remind students we use “how much is this?” (or are these) when asking about price. (If students ask, point out a price is singular.IF they’ve already studied non-count items, you could add that “money” is non-count.)

    Clothing Vocabulary Lesson

    Intro/ presentation (15 min.)

    Introduce the topic and teach basic vocabulary: “Today I’m wearing ___” (list & point to visible clothing.) “Who else is wearing [a sweater]? Who else is wearing ____?

    Hold up other sample clothing, and say “This is a skirt.” (Elicit names if students likely to know them—cognates, etc.) (Write each new item on the board.) Then (after each 3 or 4 new items) ask comprehension questions (Is this a red skirt or a blue skirt? Do we wear shorts when it’s hot or cold? Are these sandals or gloves? What are these?)

    Guided practice (35 min.)

    Practice 1: match clothing names with their pictures (10 min)

    1.Explain the worksheet, ask a few questions to ensure students understand the instructions (it’s a good idea to check with students who are less likely to understand, rather than your best students), and pass them out to pairs of students.

    2. Students work together to match items with names

    Practice 2: groups of about three students cut out clothing pictures from ads or catalogs, decide on prices, and label the pictures (i.e. “SALE! men’s shirts-- $11.99 each”) Groups may name their “stores.” (25 min.)

    Communicative practice (25 min.):

    (Students use their new clothing vocabulary in a real-life context by role playing a clothing store purchase.)

    1. Explain the shopping role play, and then demonstrate a shopping interaction with a student volunteer. Check that students know phrases for making purchases, and write them on the board:

    Customer: I’d like this/ these _____.

    Clerk: That’s $____.

    Customer: Here you are. (You can offer play money-- or just pretend to pay.)

    2. After giving further instructions (see steps below) and asking a few questions to make sure students understand the instructions, one student from each group of three above stays at their table as salesclerk while the other two of each group act as customers.

    3. Customers look through the clothing items displayed at each store, compare prices, and make “purchases” (give the clerk “money”— not counted exactly)-- and take the catalog picture of what they bought.

    4. After 5 min.(use a timer or ring a bell), one of the two “customers” from each table returns to be salesclerk, & the clerks become customers. After 5 more min., remaining customers become clerks (so all students have 10 minutes as customers at other “stores” & 5 minutes as clerk at their own store.)

    Use the remaining class time for students to present their purchases to the class. You can teach bought or paid: “I bought this shirt for $10”-- or students can just say “$10 for this shirt.”

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    HomeESL Lesson Plans for Teachers> Lesson Plan on Clothing Vocabulary.

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