1st Course – U16 – Going to a Doctor

Again for this topic there are lots of choices on the Internet.  Here are some that fit well with USAL level and content.

As always with el civics, you’ll find great photographs and simple sentences describing the actions in this link.

Scroll down to the end of the pictures to find a list of “Medical Clinic Lesson Activities.”  There’s a powerpoint on Illnesses and Injuries, a crossword puzzle, Parts of the Body Bingo cards, and readings. You might want to use the powerpoint and bingo for Unit 15, or here, as a review.

EL Civics Medical Clinic Page



English Express has a selection of good, basic readings with audio and activities on this topic. Students can listen to the readings.  There are also printable worksheets for the readings under Teachers Notes.

Be sure to use the search function of English Express to find the right level and date of the activities.

Going to the Doctor – Level 1 – (November and December 2007) – Maritiza has an earache.  She makes an appointment to see the doctor.

Having an Eye Exam – Level 1- Feb 2008  – This is a slight tangent, but still works as a nice extension of this topic.

Other readings on English Express that MIGHT be of interest are Going to a Physio (physical therapist) April 2008. In 2007 there are two articles about going to a dentist.  Have a look and see if they would be of interest to your students.

English Express Readings


Finally, REEPworld has activities on this topic of illnesses and talking to a doctor that students can do online.

Health Problems



1st Course U20- Vocabulary and Reading Practice

There are readings on all the topics in this unit on EL Civics. As always, great illustrations to help comprehension.

Beginner Level Weather Words


Weather Reading






***NEW *** Have a look at this wonderful resource of low-level reading materials made available by Bow Valley College in Alberta Canada. There are 40 theme-based ESL Literacy Readers available on this site. There are 3 levels so you should be able find a level appropriate for everyone in your multi-level classes. (Actually Phase 3 is way too difficult for any 1st Course students.) I’ll attach the pdf of a short one that contains the future tense and is on the topic of a relaxing weekend, so a nice fit with this unit.  But go to the site and check out all the others available.

relaxingweekend pdf

Check out more at: ESL Literacy Readers from BowValley College


You can also find a lot of readings related to this unit at englishexpress.ca. Because I can’t link to specific readings, I’d suggest you go to the site and browse through Level 1 readings. Here is a simple crossword puzzle students can print and complete. It was created by our Canadian friends at English Express, so beware of the reference to Canada Day.

Summer Fun Crossword



1st Course – U16- Medicine at the Pharmacy

For a simple reading you can print or have students read and listen to online, go to English Express and look for Level 1- January 2008 – Going to the Pharmacy. This is the continuing story of Maritza and her earache. In the Nov/Dec 2007 story she went to the doctor, and in this story she is having her prescription filled. I’ve also added their accompanying pdf activity on reading a medicine label.

Going to the Pharmacy



Here’s the link to REEPworld’s great online activities on medicine, medicine labels, and warning labels.

Medicine and Labels


1st Course U14 – Food

Food is always a popular topic so there are many resources available online! Here are some links that supplement the first part of USAL Unit 14 nicely.

This first, very basic pdf contains 12 food picture cards, and it’s a perfect tie-in to Celia wanting her daughter to eat healthy foods. Ask students to identify the healthy foods versus the unhealthy. They can use the pictures to write sentences or a little dialog of someone asking for these things in a restaurant or shop.

Food Picture Cards

If your students would like even more vocabulary, EL Civics has great photos with the words listed along the side. The introductory text is difficult, so tell students to just look at the photos and match the words in the lists.

EL Civics Food Pictures


Podcast Listening Activity

Diane Wallis has a very good podcast about a grocery list. She uses quantity words so you may need to introduce those to your students first. To make it easier, I’ve added a worksheet so they simply need to fill in the food word and the price. The worksheet has an answer key on the second page.

Do you need anything at the store?

Grocery list podcast worksheet


Reading and Listening

Marshall Adult Ed has several readings about food, each with 3 speeds of audio narration. The students are asked to read along with the speaker in the first reading which is very slow. If your students are more advanced, suggest that they go on to the 2nd or 3rd reading and practice their pronunciation at a more natural speed. There are questions after the reading that students can answer in writing and hand in to you.

Check out all my suggestions below to see which would be most appropriate or appealing to your students. Or, let them choose one. As always there will be new vocabulary words and students should write them in their journal for more practice later.

Because we can’t link to individual readings, instruct students to:

Click the link to the Web Site.  Use the scroll bar to go down to Level 1.5 in the pink box. Look for the following titles.

Good Nutrition

Sharing a Meal on Family Night


For a tie- in to restaurant workers, the second part of USAL Unit 14, suggest “Gloves – a must for Food Workers” in Level 1.0, the blue box.

For the above reading titles, click this link.

Marshall Adult Education Readings


1st Course U18- Readings: Buying, Selling, Collecting Stuff

Ms. Marquez teaches the class about buying used goods at a garage sale.  But there are many different places to buy used goods, for example, yard sales, tag sales, or rummage sales. This reading is about a woman who buys clothes for her children at a Rummage Sale.

If possible, discuss new vocabulary and the pre-reading questions with your students. Encourage students to listen for overall meaning, but to ask you if they have questions. There are 3 speeds of audio. Encourage students to listen to all three readings to help their listening comprehension. Suggest they then listen again and read out loud to practice their pronunciation. After the 3 audio readings there are questions for students to print and answer.  Thank you Marshall Adult Ed!

To find this activity give students these instructions.

Click the link.
You will see the Marshall Adult Education Site. Look at the yellow list of titles in the middle.
Move the scroll bar down. Look for the title, Rummage Sale Time in the yellow box.
Click Rummage Sale Time to begin the activity.

Rummage Sale Time


Just an extra, fun reading, this is about a man who collects piggy banks, and often buys them at garage sales. (Aha! A connection to this unit.) As a bonus for this reading there is also a pdf of a picture crossword puzzle of common items people like to collect (and buy at garage sales!)

There is an audio recording of the reading, but it’s a bit difficult to navigate to it. This wonderful Web site, the Canadian English Express, has many great readings, so it’s worth teaching your students how to move around the site.

First the link to the pdf files:

Jim has a Hobby

Things to Collect Crossword

Here is the link to the readings with audio, followed by instructions to help students find the one about Jim:

English Express Readings

Click the link, English Express Readings.
Click Articles in the left column.
Click Level 1 in the “Choose a level” column.
Click the Search by year button in the top right above the list.
Next to Select Year: 2009, click the small arrows in blue and choose 2008. It should now say,  Select a year: 2008 and Choose a level: Level 1.
Click Submit.
Click Jim has a hobby, the first story in the list.
Click Play to listen to the article.












eslyes.com  Audio Readings and Activities

      This is considered a “Super-Easy” reading on eslyes.com site. However, it does use the past tense, primarily




    , and it uses a couple of other higher level structures. Depending on your students’ level, you may want to read it with them once first. The audio is very slow with very precise pronunciation. (not what you’d call authentic speech) Students can listen to the reading, do a cloze and sentence scramble activity too!

Too Much Stuff

    Note: There are 200 readings at this level and you could just direct students to the main list and let them self-select. However be forewarned there are a couple of readings about God, which I’m not very comfortable with on this kind of site. Check them out before you send students to the Table of Contents.



1st Course U17-Reading and Writing

This first reading (probably written during the housing boom) tells about a man who decides to sell his house. It uses many of the vocabulary words presented in this unit, but it is written in the past tense so lowest level students may need some extra help. You may want to read with students when you introduce the activity to clarify meaning, and then let them work independently with the audio, cloze, and scrambled sentence activities online at the eslyes.com site.

The House Price Goes UP


This next simple reading (a pdf file) is about an apartment building. There are some new words for students such as security deposit, tenant and landlord. Have students write new words in their journals and look up the meaning.  Ask them to write a similar passage about their apartment building, or an apartment building in their neighborhood, or the one in the photo. Have them email their writing to you.




This El Civics reading introduces many different types of housing vocabulary words to students.

Different Kinds of Homes


1st Course U11: Clothes and Colors

To combine colors and clothing, use this paper-based study sheet with a dozen articles of colorful clothing. You could use it to make flash cards, or have students say or write sentences describing the colors of the articles of clothing.

Clothes Picture Cards

Second, a nice little listening dictation from Diane’s ESL Podcast by Diane Wallis. Too bad Mervyn’s is out of business, but all the rest is is good listening practice for this topic. Have your students follow Diane’s directions and listen 3 times, with a different focus each time: write down the clothes, then the colors, and finally  the amount she spent.

Shopping for Clothes Podcast