EL Support Lesson

Taking Turns

Do your students have a hard time sharing? Using puppets and hands-on practice, students will learn all about turn-taking and using their words as they practice listening to their friends. Can be used as a stand-alone or pre-lesson for the **Reading in Turn** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Reading in Turn lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Reading in Turn lesson plan.

Students will be able to take turns sharing stories with each other.


Students will be able to explain taking turns with grade-appropriate words and phrases using sentence frames for support

(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class together. Say, "Today we're going to learn about taking turns. What does it mean to take a turn?"
  • Allow students to share ideas with a partner. Then say, "Taking turns means that we are giving each other a chance to use something. We take turns because it is one of the ways that we take care of each other in the classroom."
(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the class to your two puppets. Tell the class that you are going to share a story about the puppets.
  • Preview new language ("turn," "share," "wait") as needed using the vocabulary cards and glossary for reference.
  • Act out a simple puppet show using the following story for reference: "One day Ellie was playing with her favorite classroom toy, the red fire truck. As she was zooming it along the floor, her friend Sam came over. He really wanted to play with the truck too. Sam reached for the truck and Ellie ran away."
  • Pause the puppet show here and ask students: "How do you feel when your friend is playing with something you want to use?" "How do you think Sam feels?" "What can Sam do if his favorite toy is already being used by Ellie?" "How might Ellie feel?" Allow a few minutes of think time. Provide students with ideas and guidance as needed.
  • Finish the puppet show by modeling how the two friends can ask to take a turn using the following phrases: "Can I have a turn when you are done?" "I am taking a turn right now, you can play when I am finished." Be sure to model the puppets having a hard time taking turns and also realizing that they care about one another and enjoy taking turns at the end.
(3 minutes)
  • Ask the students: "What did you learn about taking turns?" "What happens when you have trouble taking turns?"
  • Have students turn and talk to share their ideas with a friend. Then share out with the whole group, repeating and rephrasing ideas as needed to clarify for the whole group, e.g., "It can be hard to take turns if you have a toy that is special and you really want to play with it."
(15 minutes)
  • Display several high-interest activities or toys to the class.
  • Explain that now students will get to practice taking turns with their friends.
  • Create a classroom chart titled "Taking Turns" and ask students to think about different ways that they can take turns. Ask guding questions such as: "Howmight you decide the order of your turns?" 'When is a turn over?" "What should you do when waiting for a turn?"
  • Record ideas on the chart. Review the chart.
  • Model how to take a turn by inviting a student to the front of the classroom and handing them a toy or object, then demonstrate asking for a turn using the following sentences: "Can I have a turn?" "When you are finished with your turn, can I have a turn next?" "Can we play together?"
  • Pair students together and pass out one of the toys or activities collected for the lesson to each group. Assign one student to start with the toy (pass them a green card) and have the other student practice asking for a turn. Switch.
  • As time allows, open up more toys and activities and encourage students to practice taking turns.


  • Reenact several more scenarios with puppets using common classroom situations. Have students identify the puppets' feelings and possible solutions. Ask students to help the puppets solve the problems using provided sentence starters or frames.


  • Have students create additional puppet shows to practice using the target language with a partner.
  • Ask students to identify different scenarios where taking turns might be more challenging. Have students share problem solving ideas.
  • When creating the "Taking Turns" chart, separate into three parts: "Look," "Sound," "Feel." The students can discuss what taking turns looks, sounds, and feels like.
(5 minutes)
  • As students are practicing taking turns, provide guidance and sentences for them to utilize: "I am playing alone," "I am taking a turn," "Can I have a turn?" "How long is your turn?" "Can I take a turn when you are finished?"
  • Assess students' ability to communicate their feelings and turn taking using the lessons target vocabulary words (e.g., turn, wait).
  • Provide stupport by asking students: "What are you going to do?" "Tell me some ideas," "How can you solve this problem together?"
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and have students reflect how it felt to take turns. Ask them to share with a partner: Was it hard? Was it easy? What are some other things they could do to take turns?
  • Provide the following sentence frames for support: "It was hard because ," and "It was easy because ."

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