EL Support Lesson

Elections and Conditions

Use this lesson to help your ELs understand details in a sentence by identifying conditional phrases. It can be a stand-alone lesson or used as support to the lesson Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources lesson plan.

Students will be able to compare and contrast a primary and secondary source and gather information about the topic.


Students will be able to describe details from sentences with conditional phrases using graphic organizers.

(5 minutes)
  • Display a picture of the current President of the United States and have students write on sticky notes all the things they know about the person in the picture and the person’s job.
  • Ask students to share their ideas aloud, or have them share in groups if the students are very familiar with the person. Then, have them place their sticky notes on the board.
  • Write the following sentence on the board and tell the students, "If you know how this person got to be President of the United States, then raise your hand and tell the class." Allow a student to share the answer.
  • Display and read the numbered sentences in the Election Conditions worksheet slowly and ask students to raise their hand to give their first impressions (e.g., "What's it about? What sort of language is used?").
  • Tell students that today they'll read a small piece of the Constitution to learn about how the President is elected, and they'll study conditional sentences that describe the presidential election process.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the students you were reading a small piece of the Constitution. Define constitution and explain that the Election Conditions worksheet has sentences about how the President of the United States is chosen and what conditions, or expectations the person needs to meet before becoming president.
  • Distribute the Vocabulary Instruction Chart and display the Election Conditions worksheet. Highlight all the tiered words in the numbered sentences and have students repeat the terms and meanings as you say them aloud.
  • Complete the chart together with the students, modeling using the Vocabulary Cards or Glossary to find the meanings. For other unfamiliar words, use an online dictionary.
  • Ask students to form partnerships and write sentences for the new words in their Vocabulary Instruction Chart. Choose some students to share aloud with the class.
(15 minutes)
  • Refer to the written question on the board from the Introduction and circle the word "if" and underline the word "then." Draw an arrow from the if portion to the underlined then portion of the sentence.
  • Remind students that you asked if they knew the answer, then they should raise their hand. Tell students this is a conditional sentence, meaning there is a condition or requirement attached to the students raising their hands. Draw a simple cause-and-effect flow chart writing the information with if and then in the boxes.
  • Model rewriting the sentence so that the word "then" is missing, but making sure that it is still a conditional sentence, and add an additional condition (e.g., "Raise your hand if you know how a president is elected and if you have a good memory."). Draw a flow chart showing this example. (Tip: see the Election Conditions worksheet for assistance.)
  • Display the Election Conditions worksheet and read through the teaching component. Model circling the condition, starting with the word "if," and then underlining the result of the condition, starting with the word "then." Then, show them where they would put the conditions and the results.
  • Separate students into groups of three and ask them to complete the next three problems together. Then, ask them to mix groups (so they have new partners) and compare answers. Monitor groups, correct misconceptions, and offer support.

There is no discourse level focus for this lesson plan.


  • Allow ELs to use their home language (L1) and new language (L2) as necessary.
  • Provide examples of the parts of speech with visuals of each of the unfamiliar words within worksheets and texts. Give examples of the words in context for further instruction.
  • Allow students to use word banks and sentence frames for all their writing activities. Encourage them to refer to their Vocabulary Cards or Glossary and find more unfamiliar words to add to the lists.


  • Ask students to share their answers and examples with the class to model understanding conditional sentences.
  • Pair them with beginning ELs if they share the same home language to offer support to the student.
  • Ask them to rephrase the teacher's explanations and definitions.
(6 minutes)
  • Choose a student who understands the Election Conditions worksheet well to explain how they got the answer to a question of their choice. Then, allow students to ask follow-up questions.
  • Read question four on the Election Conditions worksheet and remind students it's like the teaching component from the worksheet.
  • Ask students to complete the graphic organizer using information from the sentence.
  • Allow elbow partners to share their answers and make corrections as necessary.
(4 minutes)
  • Share another conditional sentence that uses the vocabulary terms. For example, "The president is elected if the candidate receives the majority of the votes." Choose students to share the conditional phrases and to explain their choice.
  • Allow students to turn and talk to partners about other conditional sentences using the vocabulary terms.
  • Explain to students that understanding the structure of conditional sentences can help them better understand fictional and nonfiction texts that contain conditional sentences.

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