Elephant on the Bus (LPJ1)


Teaching targets






Remember to consult our level guideline regularly to ensure the best progression for your groups.
Click here for the level guidelines

Carnet de Voyage

Click here to see the Carnet de Voyage for this lesson plan.

The parents have access to the Carnet de Voyage from the beginning of term so that they can accompany their children to discover, progress and enjoy English. Teachers are advised to check the Carnet de Voyage each time to ensure the content reflects the session content you are planning to use.

Lesson Plan

1. Hello Song / 5 minutes (recommended for younger groups)

Click here for "Hello Song" suggestions.


2. Recap last session's target language / 5 minutes

Take out the flashcards from the last session and see who remembers the words or phrases


3. Story: You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus / 10 minutes

You will need: Book

Read through the book, concentrate on encouraging repetition of your target words and or phrases. Give time for the children to see all of the details in the pictures.

For younger children (3-5), you may want to read only some of the text and concentrate more on key words. Ensure repetition of those key words.

For the extra traction levels, encourage them to repeat full sentences based on your teacher target above.

For extra preps, encourage to children to take turns trying to read pages to the group and to decipher the meaning of the story at the end. 


4. Game / 15 minutes

You will need: animal flashcards and transport flashcards, 

Having read through the story, introduce the flashcards one by one, displaying each one on the wall as it is introduced. Encourage the group to reapeat the words several times as they are introduced.

Play some vocabulary integration games to make it fun and enhance word retention: Click here for examples and instructions on the flashcard section of the session.

For older groups, now drill down to aim at the target language listed next to Extra Traction and, according to the level, Extra Prep. above.

Transport prepositions/: start by using one animal flashcard and the transport flashcards lined up on the wall. Model the activity by going along the line with the animal saying "The giraffe is travelling in the car. The giraffe is travelling on the plane etc"

A volunteer or all of the children in turn (if the group is small), take(s) a turn to go along the line saying the correct sentence with the correct preposition.

Now place each of the animals in/on a mode of transport. The children have to say the correct sentence for each one. After, try covering the display to see whether they can remember which animal is where - another opportunity to repeat the sentences.


5. Song / 10 minutes (recommended for younger groups)

Recommended for groups under 8 years. Older groups can move straight onto the individual activity time.

You could change the lyrics and use the animal vocabulary instead (eg the giraffes on the bus go up and down)


6. Individual activity/ 10 - 20 minutes

You will need:  handout and markers and/or pencils

Click here so see/download the handout


The aim of this section in the session is to spend time with each child individually. Encourage each child to either repeat vocabulary and sentences or to produce them independently, depending on their level.

For initiation level children, simply use the firts page of the handout.

For children at the "Extra Traction" level, use the second page too but cross through or cut off the "Extra Prep" section.

For children at the "Extra Prep" level, use all pages.

Click here for more information on levels.

Page one (colouring page): destined for the under 9 year olds this page can either simply be used for colouring as you interact with each child individually or (for 5 - 9 year olds) you can request that they match up the animal and the transport according to the story. 

Teacher tip: 5 year olds understand the concept of match items on a page but they still find it difficult to draw a line from one object to another. In this case, they can use colours to match the objects. For example, they can colour the giraffe and the plane in the same colour to indicate that they match.

7. Recap / 5 minutes

You will need: Flashcards for your target language.


8. Goodbye Song / 5 minutes (rcomended for younger groups)

Click here for "Goodbye Song" suggestions.