Specialist Language Courses

Lesson Plan: ADLs

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This lesson plan teaches the language used to describe and discuss ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).

A2-B1 level

Teacher Notes

●    Topic: ADLS (Activities of Daily Living)

●    Timing: 45–60 mins

●    Lesson type/focus: speaking, reading and vocabulary


●       Speaking: discuss ADLs and why they’re important

●       Vocabulary: learn and review language related to ADLs, identify synonyms

●       Reading: read for specific information


The focus of this lesson is ADLs. The speaking activity introduces the topic and gives students the opportunity to share their ideas and experience. The reading activities focus on finding specific information and provides input for the vocabulary section. The vocabulary activities look at lexical items (synonyms) from the text and use these in discussion questions.


Note: This lesson supports the language introduced in the following:

●       Course: English for Care: delivering outstanding care

●       Unit: Eating and Drinking

●       Module: ‘Activities of Daily Living: helping with mealtimes’ pages 3, 4 and 5

Teaching Guide & Answer Key

Part 1: speaking

Put students into pairs or small groups and ask them to discuss questions 1 and 2 on the student worksheet. Encourage them to share examples from their own experience.


Do whole class feedback to discuss and share answers.


  1. What does ADL stand for and what does it mean?

ADL stands for Activity of Daily Living. ADLs are the basic self-care tasks a person does day-to-day. They are part of caring for oneself and maintaining independence. Ability or inability to perform ADLs is often used by health professionals as a way of measuring a person’s functional status, especially that of older adults or those with disabilities.


Additional information can be found here at NHS Trust (IoW)


  1. What are ADLs? Make a list of examples.

Examples include: moving from one place to another, e.g. getting out of bed; showering/bathing, cleaning your teeth, skin and hair care, dressing, toileting, feeding yourself.

Part 2: reading

A Have students work in individually to read the text to find the answers to questions 1–5. Tell them to read the text quickly and just look for the answers. You could set a time limit.


Go through the answers as a class.


  1. What does independent with ADLs mean?
    That you can perform ADLs without help.
    What is the opposite of independent?
  2. How many activities did Virginia Henderson identify?
  3. What did Roper, Logan and Tierney do?
    Used Henderson’s research for their own model. Reduced the number of ADLs to 12.
  4. How many groups of activities do we use today to assess ADLs?


B. Have students work in individually, or in pairs, to read the text to find the answers to questions 1–5. Tell students to concentrate on finding the answers rather than any words they don’t know at this stage.

Go through the answers as a class.


1.c   2.a   3.b   4.c   5.a

Extension activity: Look at some of the vocabulary from questions 1–5 in more detail. Have students read the questions and answer options again to find the answers to these questions.

  1. What is a buzzer?

An electrical device that makes a buzzing noise and is used for signalling.

  1. What does swallow mean?

pass down the throat

  1. What is a hoist?

a device that lifts someone

  1. What does chew mean?

to break food down with the teeth

  1. What does comb mean?

to untangle the hair

Download the complete lesson plan and student worksheet:


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