Coraline – Lesson 2

Part 1

1. Start by reading the first five chapters:

2. Do the vocabulary exrcises in the worksheet, page 2 (see below)

3.  Reading Comprehension

How would you describe Coraline’s parents?
What is your reaction to the button eyes of Coraline’s other mother?
What has happened to Coraline’s real parents?

4. Start working with mapping characters after reading 1/3 of the book

Discuss and compare characters from the book with students in your group.

Then fill in  characteristics using the form, map of characters at the back of the worksheet (p.5), for the two characters you have chosen. (You will continue to fill in this map/form as you continue to read.)

Coraline Lesson Plan

Lesson plan

This lesson plan is available online, where you can also download it in pdf-format.

After reading the book you can do a quiz on the text

You may want to read the Neil Gaiman Exclusive Interview.

You can read more about the author Neil Gaiman on his website

Coraline – Lesson 1

Coraline – Lesson 3

Coraline – Lesson 4

Coraline – After Reading the book

Coraline – Lesson 1

”In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own” (Quote from

”Things seem marvelous. But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.” (Quote from

Read an excerpt (Chapters 1 and 2)

There is an interacitve website for Coraline,  where you can find a map and explore Coraline’s world. Have fun but watch out!


Lesson plan

Coraline Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is available online, where you can also download it in pdf-format.

After reading the book you can do a quiz on the text

You may want to read the Neil Gaiman Exclusive Interview.

You can read more about the author Neil Gaiman on his website




Coraline – Lesson 2

Coraline – Lesson 3

Coraline – Lesson 4

Coraline – After Reading the book

Language history – Lesson 1

English today is a world language but it all started in the British Isles. To understand the history of English developed it helps if you have access to maps which describe the region and how people (and languages have moved). A series of good maps for illustrations can be found at History of English podcast. Here you can also find a number of podcasts on English language history. There are 85 ! episodes, but among the most relevant are

Way back in time

Celts, Angles and Saxons





You can listen to the sounds of English through history using the BBC Ages of English Timeline


Roald Dahl and Fantastic Mr Fox

the-fatastic-mr-fox-esl-bitsRoald Dahl’s Fantastic mr Fox is available at ESL-Bits short stories

You can learn more about Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl and the wonderful world of his stories at where you can meet the characters and look at some Quentin Blake’s marvelous illustrations.


If you are a teachaer there are lesson plans and other resources.


More on Roald Dahl and his stories

Roald Dahl – The BFG
The BFG (Part 1)
The BFG (Part 2)
The BFG (Part 3)
The BFG (Part 4)
The BFG (Part 5)
The BFG (After reading the book)

Irregular English verbs

Verbs are often a problem area for students of English as a second or third language.

As such English is quite easy when it comes to regular verbs as you only have the -ed ending (talked, walked…) for past actions, the ing-form for continuous action (and some other cases) and the s-form for the third person singular in the present tense. That only amounts to three different verb endings; -s, -ed, -ing. The problems come with how to use these verb endings, and then, of course, you have all the irregular verbs.

Irregular verbs are common and frequently used. You should learn the most frequent first. (There are more than 200). There are lists in books and on the internet. I will include a few links here below. When you go wrong with an irregular verb. I strongly suggest that you take some extra time to learn the correct form. This is an effecctive use of your study time and will quickly give you and improved proficiency.

50 Most Common Irregular Verbs in the English language, but does not include the auxiliary verbs ”do” and ”have”. (87% of irregular verb use in English!
70 common irregular verbs: pre-intermediate learners Pre-intermediate level students should be familiar with all or most of these words.
List of English irregular verbs: A – F (This is a complete list of English irregular verbs, with their past simple and past participle forms.)

Descriptive writing

Lesson/exercise in writing

Describing people and places make your writing come alive.

  1. Watch

Watch this 10 minute animation and write a text describing what you have seen. The more descriptive words you use the better your text will be.

2. Write

Take about 40 minutes to write your text.

3. Peer review

Change texts with someone. Read and give feedback.

Does the text reflect what you just saw?

Is the text logical?

Does it describe the characters you have seen? The environment?

Does the text catch any of the feeling in the short film?

It you want to learn more:  How to describe a person | Using descriptive words

If you want to teach descriptive writing you can find many lessons/exercises at

Resources for English 5 – a symbaloo webmix


The symbaloo webmix is a living document and continuosly updated, which means tiles may be moved and link added or removed. It is however made public and adapted to the ESL course English 5. There are general resources for language learning, as well as assignments, games and tools.


Structuring your writing

Structure improves your writing. The function of structure and paragraphs  is to make a text clearer and easier to read and understand.

In this post there are some resources collected to help you with improving your writing. Links in the text below will take you to exercies and more extensive explanations when you feel a need for more help or information.

Click the image below to access the activity/exercise

Skillswise structure and paragraphs

All texts should have a clear beginning, a middle and an end, but there are many different types of text. Before you start writing an essay make sure you know which type of essay you are going to write.

You should also think about your audience. For whom are you writing? Format and style depend on what you write as well as on who you audience are.

”Structure, tone, style and adapting to your audience can help you create your own literary works”. Find out why they are important.

As a help you can use  TAP (T – text, A – audience, P – purpose)

Text refers to the type of text you are being asked to write: letter, magazine article, story, etc. T

Audience is who you are writing for. This may be teenagers, adults or even children.

Purpose refers to the point of the text and what it is aiming to do.

Now you should start planning your writing. (Instructions  on how to plan a text).


Resourses to improve your writing can be found at Bitesize and at Skillswise.

General Writing Outline

Please feel free to use the General Writing Outline.
The instruction is available online (click the embedded file to the left) where you can download the instruction in pdf-format.