The aroma of the recently released pumpkin spice latte is too much to handle. That’s why you need to cave in and bid your official adieu to the summer season (it was a good one, no?). And since your love for all things cozy-and-autumnal is hard to hide—cute boots BTW—we think you should translate your love for the season into your TEFL classroom with fall ESL activities and lessons!

Students in a classroom

If you’re teaching English in a country that experiences four traditional seasons, why not capture the spirit of the climate and find interesting new ways to pique your students’ interest? And for those whose TEFL internships are in countries with year-round hot temps, this can be a chance to educate your students about the lives and realities of others from around the world—including people from your home country!

Here are seven ESL Autumn activities and lesson plan ideas for fall. All that’s missing is a little cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

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1. What Makes a Perfect Fall Day?

You wake up in your bed and look out your window. Suddenly, you see the maple tree in your backyard has turned a brilliant shade of orange, and the other trees nearby are following suit. It’s crisp. It’s cool. It’s the perfect fall day. What activities do you want to do today? What will you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Will you go on a walk in the woods or have a bonfire with friends?

socks during fall

Introduce the topic and possibilities, then give students a few minutes to think about their response and jot down notes. Then, have each individual student share it with a small group before inviting a few students to share their ideas with the class as a whole.

  • Skill level: Any
  • Skill focus: Speaking
  • Materials needed: Relevant photos that can help give ideas, prep questions, sample questions for discussion, pencil, paper

2. Get Published in a Local Newspaper

Oh my! You woke up in your bed and looked out your window to see a maple tree instead of your typical palm tree. What’s going on? Write a news alert or announcement to your local newspaper breaking the latest on this totally wacky situation. Do you even own a coat? Have you ever tried pumpkin? How is this going to affect your entire community?!

breakfast on a lake

Have students “get into the fun” by pretending it’s a real-life emergency. This is an especially fun activity if your TEFL internship abroad is in a country where “autumn” is something they can imagine, but have never really experienced. Your students will definitely be asking for more fall ESL activities after this one!

  • Skill level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Skill focus: Writing
  • Materials needed: Sample prompt or sample questions, pencil, paper

3. Have Access to a Printer? These Worksheets Can Do the Trick

If you have younger students who are still just getting the hang of learning any vocabulary word that isn’t fruit-related, stick to something easy to excite them for fall—like worksheets. ESL Kidz has ample resources to help you plan the perfect ESL lesson plan for kids for fall. From matching gourds to coloring autumn leaves, your students will be loving their busy work from start to finish. Even an autumn crossword puzzle could be fun for ESL students!

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Skill focus: Grammar, vocab
  • Materials needed: Worksheets, markers/crayons/pen

warmers fillers and coolers activity ebook

4. Make Apple Prints

If you want to incorporate a little creativity and art into your ESL Autumn activities and lesson plans, you’ll love this fall-friendly (and super easy!) project. Prepare by having at least one apple for every student, as well as trays with paint on them—red, green, orange, yellow. Cut the apples in half at the cross section and lay them out near the paints. The last piece you need at your activity station is a cup with little pieces of paper with different numbers on it (1-10).

Writing on paper

When it’s a student’s turn, have them first pick a number from the cup. This is how many apple prints they should put on their construction paper.

At the end, you can have every student add more apple prints to their papers—some get a little sad when they can only have one print and their friend had four!

  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Skill focus: Numbers
  • Materials needed: Apples, knife, paint, construction paper, cup, pieces of paper with numbers

5. Read Something About Autumn

Sorry for the generic title ^^, but you can absolutely modify this activity to the meet the needs and skill levels of whatever student you are working with—kids, adults, university students, business English learners.

Reading - ESL activities

A quick Google search can illicit tons of possibilities. And since fall is the perfect time to wrap yourself in a blanket and get lost in a book, we’d hate for your ESL students to miss out on a version of this classic fall activity. You can even find fall reading comprehension worksheets online, too!

  • Skill level: Any
  • Skill focus: Reading
  • Materials needed: Article, book, etc.

6. Taboo

This age-old favorite activity is the perfect way to invite some autumn vibes into your classroom. Put your target vocabulary, such as pumpkin, bonfire, Halloween, football, etc., onto different pieces of paper and place them in a hat. One student draws a word from the hat and then has to describe the vocab word—without saying it—while other students guess. Mix in some surprise words, too!

Painted pumpkins - ESL activities

If you want to make these fall ESL activities more competitive, have two students sit facing the classroom with their back towards the board. On the board, you can write the target vocabulary word, then the rest of the students can help the two in the chairs guess the correct term. Whoever guesses first, wins!

  • Skill level: Any
  • Skill focus: Vocabulary
  • Materials needed: Vocab material planned in advance

7. Holiday Extravaganza

We’re guessing that your TEFL internship destination has loads of fun and fascinating fall holidays. Dia de Difuntos in Ecuador, Diwali in India, Eid-Al-Adha in muslim countries, Loi Krathan in Thailand, the Mid-Autumn festival in China. So exciting! Why not plan an entire lesson around learning about the fall celebrations where you’re teaching abroad, but also by sharing your own culture’s fall holidays with them?

Pumpkins - ESL activities

If you’re from the United States, you might try to make hand turkeys or recreate a trick or treating experience. British folks might get creative and make toffee apples to celebrate Bonfire Night. German’s might have a classroom feast in remembrance of St. Martin’s Day.

Since teaching abroad is about teaching, learning, AND sharing, the holidays are a perfect excuse to get to know more about your students and share a little bit more about yourself.

  • Skill level: Any
  • Skill focus: Community building
  • Materials needed: Holiday festivity supplies

Your Students Will Love These ESL Fall Activities

Grab your PSL and head out to teach your students all of your favorite ESL fall vocabulary words! Tap into the energy and excitement of the changing seasons and bring some seriously fun learning inspiration to your classroom. Fall ESL activities and lesson plans are just the ticket. Have fun and happy frolicking!

Ps. Want some more ideas about how to keep your students engaged? Then check out Will’s tips to keep young ESL learners engaged!

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