• Inspirational English

Do you really believe that students can learn English by visualising?

Updated: Apr 13

Visualisation-based lesson plan for young ESL learners

"Do you really believe that

students can learn English by visualising?"

This is what Roy, one of my Zumba buddies, asked me last week.

Roy's been fascinated with my work for a while but he couldn't get his head around how I would use visualisation in my English lessons. He's a university tutor who believes that relaxation is something that we all need, let alone students and he didn't need much convincing as to how powerful my visualisation-based lessons were.

If that's a question that you've asked yourself, then you are in luck because today I am sharing one of my students' favourite lessons which includes visualising.

In my blog post Visualisation- the perfect way to stimulate your students' imagination, I explain that I use this mindfulness tool for the following reasons:

- to practise specific vocabulary

- to create a particular goal,

- to bring sensations,

- to go back to past memories,

- to help my students explore themselves

So without further ado, here's my lesson plan THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY.

Step 1:

Show pictures of a butterfly and a caterpillar and ask the students to name the two insects. What do the butterfly and the caterpillar have in common?

Step 2

Ask the students to match the words which rhyme. If they are not familiar with the task, explain that “words that have the same sound or end with the same sound” rhyme.

For example- cat-mat, bite-kite

Download Student Handout here.

Step 3

Tell the students to read the poem about the Little Green Caterpillar and fill in the gaps with the rhyming pairs of words. (See Student Handout)

For instance, Line 2 rhymes with Line 4.

You can find the original poem here. It is written by the British poet Josie Whitehead. Yes, my students and I love her poems. :)

Step 4

The poem has been turned into a song. You can download it from the poet’s website. Use the link provided in Step 3. Play it and let the students check their answers.

Step 5

Hold a discussion using the questions below:

1. What doesn’t the caterpillar like eating? What does he want to eat?

2. How do you think the caterpillar feels when he says: “How do I get to see more of this world?”

3. Why does the caterpillar want to be like the butterfly?

4. How does the caterpillar change at the end of the poem?

5. Where do you think the butterfly will fly to first?

Step 6

Let’s visualise

Explain to your students that they’ll take the little butterfly from the poem on a journey. Ask them to sit comfortably, relax, close their eyes and listen. If they haven’t done a visualisation before, say that they need to listen carefully and follow the guidance of the voice. Explain that breathing is important so illustrate how they need to breathe in and out at the beginning and the end of the visualisation.

Here is the visualisation that I've created for the purpose of the lesson

After you play the visualisation, ask the students how they feel.

My students love visualising. Not only do they find it extremely calming but they are able to practise target vocabulary in a way which wakes up all their senses.

Ask some students to retell the butterfly’s adventure from the park.

What details do they remember from it?

What colour was the butterfly?

What was the girl doing in the park?

What were the children doing?

Where do they think the two butterflies will go next?

Step 7

At the end of the lesson put the students in pairs and tell them they have to prepare a dialogue between the two butterflies from the visualisation. If you are running out of time, you can assign this for homework.


The lesson plan The Little Butterfly comes from the bundle Sights and Sounds of Summer and you can find more information about it here.


If you are keen to explore more visualisation-based lesson plans, then take a look at my brand-new collection Sights and Sounds of Autumn.

It includes these three lesson plans:

1. Autumn in the forest cottage

( LP for teens and adults)

It is an image-based lesson which comes with a visualisation.

2.An autumn visit

( LP for young learners)

The students will practise all skills in the lesson. Also, a mindful visualisation will help them practise key vocabulary and wake up their senses.

3. An autumn retreat

( a creative LP for teens and adults

Find more information about the bundle here.


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Wishing you a relaxing weekend,

Marusya Price

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