Kids playing a game

In the context of the ELT week that British Council Argentina organised in March 2023, we invited teachers to submit lesson ideas for the remote and online classroom that drew on the contents of the talks they attended during the event.

This lesson plan was contributed by teacher Silvia Cordi as a response to this call. Its target audience are beginner level primary school children and its main aims are to identify the characteristics of poems and to learn and review vocabulary related to senses, sounds, shapes and colours. 

There are many activities that invite learners to respond using their whole body and develop their creativity. Some of these could also be used in isolation for revision purposes or as an active pause. The idea behind this multisensory lesson is to make learning more memorable. There is plenty of rehearsing and practice to promote retention and retrieval of previous information.

Lesson plan: Captain Impossible poem
Author: Silvia Cordi



  • To identify poems and their characteristics.
  • To learn and review vocabulary related to senses, sounds, shapes and colours.
  • To develop listening and writing skills.
  • To develop creativity and critical thinking.
  • To promote coordination and motor skills development.
  • To develop skills for collaboration.

Age and level: Primary school learners aged 8-10 years at CEFR A1 level and above.

Time: 80 minutes approximately.


  • Digital copies of the poem 
  • Digital flashcards
  • A hat and a magic wand

Procedure summary:

This lesson based around a poem revises the following categories: senses, sounds, shapes and actions. The poem is used as a trigger for all the activities.  The lesson begins with a warmer to identify characteristics of the poem and predict what it is about. This is followed by comprehension and analysis of the text. After reading, learners will produce their own phrases inspired by the poem. As a follow up, there are physical response and interactive games, as well as a brain breaker activity.

In the sections below you will find the detail procedure for this lesson plan.

1. Before reading: lead-in (10 minutes)

a) The teacher explains that they will work on a poem.  There are some animals in the poem but there are some problems with the sounds they make. So, the teacher invites students to play this short interactive game in which they are going to identity animals and sounds: Animal-sounds game 

b) Total Physical Response (TPR) activity: The teacher puts on a hat and a magic wand and invites children to play. The teacher says the following phrase ‘I touch my nose , I touch my ear, everybody is a dog here’. Students have to imitate not only the sounds but the movements of the animal the teacher mentions. The teacher names different animals and praises learners while reinforcing the vocabulary, saying phrases such as, ‘Good! Dogs bark’

2. Before reading: predicting (5 minutes)

a) On the online board, the teacher writes the following questions aimed at predicting:

  • What is a poem?
  • What is it like? Do you know any poems?

Students try to answer in their mother tongue and the teacher provides them with the necessary words. 

Students' expected responses (SER) are: ‘it has rhythm’, ‘some words rhyme’, ‘it is divided in stanzas’. 

b) The teacher shows the poem and tries to elicit the characteristics of it (see attachment below).

SER: ‘there is a title and an author’, ‘the author is a poet’, ‘a poem is made up of lines’, ‘lines are called stanzas’, ‘it has a certain number of stanzas’.  

Students are invited to write their answers on the chat or open the microphone after raising their hands. The teacher scaffolds the interaction to help reach a list of characteristics.

c) The teacher asks questions to elicit predictions about the picture: ‘Who is he?’  ‘What is the meaning of impossible?’ ‘And what is possible?’

Students answer in their mother tongue, the teacher provides the necessary words for them to rephrase the ideas in English.

3. While reading: conveying meaning (10 minutes)

The teacher reads the poem and implements different strategies to convey the meaning of words such as using gestures, pointing at the different parts of the body, producing the sounds mentioned, helping students visualise the poem.  It is important to read the poem without interruptions to help learners notice the rhythm in it. After reciting it for the first time, the teacher or students can read the poem again, as many times as they find it necessary.

4. After reading: understanding the poem and identifying rhyming words (15 minutes)

a) Discussion

Focus on each of the stanzas and discuss the meaning. Try to elicit the answers and rephrase in English to help students speak in the target language.

b) Invite learners to identify rhyming words. Exemplify by underlining two words that rhyme. This can be done in groups in breakout rooms. Groups can  work collaboratively on the online whiteboard and write rhyming words there. After that, the whole class can share and compare in the main room. 

5. After reading: sorting and writing (15 minutes)

a) Students read the poem again and identify different categories (animals, shapes, sounds, actions). They contribute ideas in open class and are invited to collaborate by writing them on chart such as the following one:







b) In groups, students are invited to write some actions that Captain Impossible could do. For example: He’ll bark like a dog. Students can write the sentences on the digital whiteboard and check spelling together. They can create as many phrases as they wish. They will later be invited to share their phrases in open class.

6. After reading: vocabulary practice (10 minutes)

a) Jumping game: students stand up in front of the camera and jump forward raising their hands only if the teacher says something that is true. Depending on the level of students, the teacher could start by saying phrases such as ‘I can smell with my nose’, ‘Captain Impossible can bark like a cat’, ‘a pig can bark’.  If a student jumps when the sentence is false, they are out of the game. 

b) Students are invited to play Simon says using vocabulary seen during the lesson: parts of the body, shapes, etc.

7. After reading: integrating content (15 Minutes)

During this part students practise and extend their learning. Activities are fun and challenging. The teacher selects one or more of the following activities depending on students’ preferences and lesson timing. Some of these activities can be done for homework or used in future lessons as revision and expansion:

a) Brain breaker body song: song to learn more about the body.

b) Memory game: parts of the body: interactive game.

c) Senses Spinning Wheel. After spinning the wheel, students try to fetch objects to follow the instructions. For example, if the instruction reads ‘bring something you can smell’, they find an object and utter a full sentence, such as ‘I can smell my apple’. 

d) Further senses games. They can either choose this five senses game or this additional five senses game.

8. Closure: summarising (5 minutes)

This stage seeks to help students identify what they learnt during the lesson. The teacher will ask, ‘What have we learnt today?’ This is an open class activity in which students recap all the things they have done. It is good for memory. Students can write in the chat box or open the microphone to speak after raising their hands.