How to use this site

Here you can find some answers

If this is your first time visiting the site, you may want to click here to check out this introduction to how Max’s English Corner works.

Setting the scene
It’s difficult to get a handle on something new. This website isn’t all that complicated, and with a little familiarity its contents can be better appreciated and accessed. Let me try to introduce it in the following way.

My mother is a retired kindergarten teacher and one day I was trying to explain what the website contains and the intentions behind it. One primary focus of the website is to supply teachers with lesson plans. This includes ideas and materials and to have it all nicely packaged so it would be practical and convenient. One of the challenges was to present them in a way that covers the important elements but not to get too bogged down with details. I wanted to show my mother how a lesson plan would fit into the website and for simplicity’s sake we decided to focus on a lesson plan for a single activity rather than encompassing one for the whole class. In fact, that is how the website is designed, providing lesson plans for individual activities. How the teachers connect them (or not) to other elements of their full class plan is up to them. To help walk my mother through it I asked her to imagine that she had to write such a lesson plan for a substitute teacher who would be doing a class for her in the following week.

As you may know, it’s not all that easy writing out a plan for an unknown person. In this case, my mother wouldn’t know that teacher’s level of experience, which could be very high, or perhaps it would be someone just fresh out of a month-long certification course. That teacher could be somebody local, maybe already acquainted with the school system, or recently arrived from a far-away country.

My mother decided that the activity she’d want the substitute to cover would be her Duck Song. It was a simple activity and if this imaginary class was to be done midway in the year, the young students would know where to get the book off the shelves and how all the accompanying gestures would work into the song. If it was in the first month of the course the subbing teacher would have to get the students better acquainted with the material (pictures, gestures & words/melody to sing) and the methodology (what to do with the material). There were also the objectives to consider, why my mother wanted the substitute teacher to do this particular activity in the first place.

So, with these and other considerations, how would she write up a brief yet comprehensible lesson plan? And how could one access it on this website?

Finding a lesson plan
In Max’s English Corner there is an ongoing inventory of lesson plans found in the top menu bar under LESSONS, as well as on the home page in ALREADY HERE. (It’s the same thing, having the same links.) There you can choose lesson plans from 3 possible categories:

APPETIZERS:   simpler, easy-to-use activities
MAIN COURSE:   focuses on speaking, vocabulary or grammar themes that require greater development
DESSERT:   usually activities which promote vocabulary work, listening and discussion from video sources such as YouTube

Assuming the Duck Song is a short and simple activity which doesn’t require a lot of preparation, it would be found in the category of APPETIZERS. The principle objective of the Duck Song is to help the children learn their numbers so scrolling down the list of activities (lesson plans) in APPETIZERS you would hypothetically find

     Numbers 1 to 5 – Further Practice: Duck Song

Orange orientation box and Quickpage
Clicking on the ‘visit’ brings you to the big orange section which provides the class plan’s objectives, intended level of students, estimated activity time, a listing of materials needed &/or supplied for the activity and a quick account of what will be done (Step Summary).

Directly below the orange orientation box is the Quickpage. This is intended more for experienced teachers or those already familiar with what they could do. It is a brief guide with concise explanations for each part of the lesson plan, all presented on a single page. The teacher can download or print the Quickpage to serve as a reminder or guide during the class or while preparing for it.

The lesson plan
After the Quickpage comes a more detailed lesson plan which is designed to provide a step by step procedure on how to approach each part of the activity. There are references to any handouts before the instructions and sometimes videos or audios after those same instructions. If there is a video, it’s there to better inform the teacher on how that part of the activity could be executed but it’s not intended to be used in class. In the example of the Duck Song, it’s much easier to see how the teacher introduces the activity, leads and supports the students, and how the activity is done in general.

If there is an audio, it’s there as an option if the teacher wants another source (other than her or him directly) for the students to listen to.

Special Notes
Sometimes there are special considerations like complexities in the language to deal with or other options on how to approach the activity. These issues are more frequently addressed in SPECIAL NOTES, not in the general lesson plan itself. SPECIAL NOTES can complement a particular lesson plan or a theme of lesson plans (like counting) but not all lesson plans require these notes.

Printable material
At the very end of the lesson plan is a section where you can find all the materials that you can download or print (handouts, a copy of the Quickpage and SPECIAL NOTES if there are any that accompany the lesson plan).

Teaching Ideas
Separate from the lesson plans themselves but found in the top menu under LESSONS is the section of TEACHING IDEAS. Apart from providing free lesson plans and materials, I wanted to look at issues in approaching teaching. These could include having a look at methodology (some of the ideas behind Integrated Learning), classroom management and more. The entries in TEACHING IDEAS will appear every second issue and typically reference lesson plans already presented on the website.

Final words
This, then, is the major thrust of Max’s English Corner, to present ideas on how to approach teaching English to your students and to back them up with lesson plans and materials. There are a few other elements you can check out as you become more familiar with the site.

Note: Max’s English Corner is intended to be a resource for people teaching English to adult students, although teachers of teens or kids or of other languages are welcome to use and modify the materials and approaches as they like. The example of the Duck Song for a kindergarten class was used to illustrate how a lesson plan might be presented on this website but the actual Duck Song won’t be found here.  Sorry.

If you have any questions or comments about using this website, the top menu bar has a section called CONTACT just for that purpose.  I’d like to hear from you.

Max Neil Maximchuk

The following are different elements & considerations making up Max’s English Corner, typical references you will encounter while looking for activities that might interest you. Most of the website activities encompass the principle ideas of Integrated Learning and center around the three categories of APPETIZERS, MAIN COURSE and DESSERT.  You can find out a little more about these references by clicking onto their boxes.


These are short activities which can be used on their own, at any time in the class, such as a warmer or filler between other activities, or as a supplement to reinforce something you are currently focusing on.

Ex: the alphabet, numbers, pronunciation, word-formation

They are presented in a progressive fashion but can, generally speaking, be used individually and separately from the other activities in that section.

With every new issue, the activity with its lesson plan will be replaced with a new one and past activities will be accessible through Already Here.


The entries here will include more in-depth speaking activities or a series on a particular lexical or grammatical area to be explored. The original intention is for them to be spread out over a number of classes, one building on the other, but you can also use the activities and materials for a single occasion only.

Ex: prepositions, phrasal verbs, shopping

Once the students become familiar with the activity and the accompanying expectations, they can more easily explore the language in their groups, freeing the teacher up to monitor or do other things. Over time, the tasks can be used as warmers, in-between activities, supplementary reinforcement or as a review, not unlike the Appetizers.  This is especially the case if one of the simpler tasks is taken from the series of step-building done in the principle lesson plan(s).

With every new issue, the activity with its lesson plan will be replaced with a new one and past activities will be accessible through Already Here.


This category entails a range of activities from a variety of sources, some of which may include some entertainment value as well as serving as an aid to learning the language. For now the activities in this category will refer to select links on the YouTube, accompanied by lesson plans, teaching suggestions and other supplementary materials such as worksheets which could be done in class or possibly as homework.

Ex: assorted YouTube videos

Usually they will only encompass one class (or two if there is a preparatory stage), but there will be some that work well in a sequence, presented over a series of classes. The first three issues of Dessert, for example, will host 3 different videos. Any one of them could be used on its own, or two or all three could be used in one or more classes.

With every new issue, the activity with its lesson plan will be replaced with a new one and past activities will be accessible through Already Here.


Every ten to twenty days one of the three categories of APPETIZERS, MAIN COURSE or DESSERT will host a new class plan which will be placed in the FEATURES OF THE WEEK/MONTH section.  What you see there will always be the most recently presented lesson plan for each category.  Previously presented lesson plans will be accessible in the ALREADY HERE section.


There is a group of small coloured rectangles located below the Features Of the Week / Month section on the home webpage. Rather than going through Already Here, you can have direct access to a particular lesson plan you may already be familiar with. The clearly coloured boxes are already accessible and those which are somewhat muted will be coming soon.


This is an ongoing inventory of lesson plans, teaching suggestions and materials from past issues, focusing on activities from Appetizers, Main Course or Dessert. All you need to do is click onto the category you are interested in and look for the theme. Don’t forget to check out the Quickpage Summary in the lesson plan for a convenient overview of the class plan.


Sometimes it’s good to know what will be coming around in the near future and Coming Up will let you know what those things will be. They include new activities or directions in the Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert categories as well as other possible sections (ex: What is it?)


There is an option in EXTRAS to listen to music by the featured artist while you browse around or look over the lesson plans. Every month or so there will be a new song but you can also check out the compositions from previous issues and follow up directly on the artist through the links supplied.


In the menu at the top of the homepage you will find LESSONS which gives you access to

Teaching Ideas     These entries feature themes on how to approach your teaching, focusing primarily on offering suggestions on how to prepare and execute the activities you have your students do in the classroom.

and to

Appetizers, Main Course & Dessert all offer free lesson plans which have been successfully done in class as presented but feel free to modify or adapt them as you please. The class plan goes through the suggested activity in some detail, providing step by step recommendations. Also included in the plan are the general aims of the activity, materials needed (& provided) and occasionally, tutorial videos to help give you a clearer idea of how to carry out the activity.

At the start of the lesson plan is the Quickpage Summary which is a one-page breakdown of how to approach the activity. It serves as a convenient reminder or to get a quick overall view.

At times there may be some extra considerations such as possible difficulties that may arise and how to overcome them, or some tips on how to better manage the activity. These can be found in Special Notes, although as not all activities will require special attention, Special Notes won’t accompany all the lesson plans.



You are not obliged to follow the class plan as presented.  It is one way to approach the theme and has been tried and tested several times successfully in class.  Your situation or style may differ so feel free to modify any of the ideas as you see fit.  All the lesson plans are presented in two ways:

1) in a Quickpage format
This is a single page within the more complete version, outlining the steps going through the activity.  Compared to the complete format, it can be viewed as a summary or reminder of how to approach the theme for those teachers who are already familiar with it or feel they don’t need a very detailed account.

2) the complete format
This format typically has several pages, describing in greater detail how one can approach the lesson plan and meet the objectives.  The contents are presented in the following order:
1 – Front Page     An orange-coloured block which tells you of the objectives for the lesson plan, a summary of the different parts involved, recommended student levels, estimated minimum time to complete the activity, a listing of any materials which may be needed and a mention of Special Notes which are occasionally included, giving extra tips or talking about additional considerations.
2 – Quickpage     As described above.  You can print out or download a copy for reference.
3 – Step instructions     The lesson plan is divided into different parts and suggested steps to carry out the activity.  Handouts to be given to the students is a common feature and sometimes there are audios and videos included as well.
4 – Handouts     Any handouts included in the lesson plan are listed here and you can print those which may be of interest to you.


SPECIAL NOTES is basically a supplement to the lesson plan.  In the interests of being concise any extra considerations like anticipating problems, offering alternative approaches or supplying additional information that could enrich the students’ understanding of the target language is offered here rather than directly in the class plan.

The numbers in the title (ex: SPECIAL NOTES 2) refer to considerations arising only to the theme for that set of lesson plans (ex:  the theme of PREPOSITIONS or CARDINAL NUMBERS).  There may be no, one or more than one different entries for any theme, but they do not correspond in any way to entries for other themes.


Level Hours of instruction

(class time only)

Level Hours of instruction

(class time only)

Beginner 0 – 120 Upper intermediate 480 – 600
Elementary 120 – 240 Advanced (low) 600 – 750
Pre-intermediate 240 – 360 Advanced (high) 750 – 900
Intermediate 360 – 480 Proficiency 900 +


These are very rough estimates as so much depends on what was done during those hours of instruction plus the students’ abilities and willingness to apply themselves.  There can be great differences of what constitutes a level, what that level should be called or what levels are offered to students not only between countries, but even among language academies in the same city.  I’m using the above interpretation on the website to provide some kind of reference and teachers can modify it accordingly, depending on how it relates to their places of work.


The times given in the lesson plans are to be interpreted as a likely minimum of expected time to complete the activities as presented.  Of course each teacher can and will carry out the activities in his or her own manner and this will affect the time involved.  If the students, for example, are very active in their learning, eagerly asking questions or trying out new versions to further extend their explorations, this, too, will add to the time and the teacher may not wish to interrupt this flow.  There are many factors that can affect the time so the number of minutes given is not so much a suggestion, but more of a ballpark minimum to play with.

DAY 3 OF 4

A ‘day’ refers to one class and if it’s Day 3 of 4, you are looking at the lesson plan for the third class in a series of four.  Of course if you wish to modify how and when different ideas are presented, you are free to do so, extending them over a longer or shorter time period.  Frequently on Max’s English Corner the themes are presented over a series of days to give the students time to become familiar with the target language and to allow them to practice in a developmental way.  There is a cumulative approach, a ‘building on’ from the material gone over in the previous class, that better prepares the students and provides more opportunity for them to practice and become more confident with that target language.
NOTE: Sometimes the lesson plans for more than one class are presented together in one issue (ex: MC1-4 Prepositions Collocations 2) or if more complex or different in focus, published in separate class plans but more frequently (ex: MC2-1 TO MC2-3 Smooth ‘n’ Sticky).


Apart from supplying lesson plans and materials which you can use in class, I wanted to address a variety of issues which could be of interest to teachers.  Some entries will be directed to those who are fairly new to the profession, (for example the theme of lesson planning) and others will be offered to those with more experience and might like to reflect on how they approach an area (for example, the theme of RVCI – Repetition, Variety, Combination & Integration).  New entries will appear every second issue and can be found in the top menu bar under LESSONS.


Every issue of Max’s English Corner will come out with further ideas and explorations of some continuing themes as well as introducing new ones. The effect will be cumulative, giving you access to both current and past entries. Any suggestions and comments will be most welcome and you are invited to communicate them in Contact.


Every issue one or more photos will appear showing the gradual construction of a LEGO object. There are two questions that you are invited to respond to:
∙ Can you guess what that object will be, and
∙ How can it be used in your English class?


There are two types of videos used in some of the lesson plans.

  • Class Reference     There are those that are available on the YouTube with their links provided so they can be easily accessed and used in class or for the students to check them out at home.  They are typically accompanied by teaching suggestions and possibly worksheets.
  • Teacher Reference     Generally speaking, the ‘homemade’ videos are not intended to be used in the class.    The videos in this second group are there to provide the teacher with a clearer idea of how to go about the activity or what one may expect while doing it.  Sometimes seeing something in action goes beyond what can be written in words.


These are intended as an optional supplement to the main focus of the students learning the target language.  They can be used in class if the teacher wishes to provide the students with a different reference than his or her own voice.  If what is recorded on the audio is short and simple in nature, the contents will appear directly on the blue icon indicating the listening in the lesson plan.  If it is longer then there will be a reference to a different page containing the audioscript.  How the teacher approaches the listening is up to her or him but the items are usually spaced out sufficiently (just) for students to repeat the words or sounds if the teacher wishes them to do so.


Some time ago I started writing a collection of memoirs about some of the adventures and experiences I’ve had and how I came to view them.  A few of them will be making their way to Max’s English Corner in the spoken and written forms.  They will be accompanied with vocabulary and language work, comprehension questions for the readings and listenings, and some discussion themes for the students to talk about.  Around the 15th of each month from January to June a new story will be accessible in the top menu of HST Narratives.


Every category (Appetizers, Main Course and Dessert) has a set of themes (The Alphabet, Numbers, Prepositions, etc) and a theme could have one or more lesson plans.  For a person who is new to the website, it might seem that there is too much information or that it isn’t immediately clear what one could do with the materials and ideas.  There is an overview of what is available and how it could be approached in ‘What’s There’, located next to the theme title.  This reference summarizes what the lesson plans contain, including the handouts and the principle objectives.  ‘What’s There’ will appear next to the theme only after all the lesson plans have been presented.


The lessons in Appetizers, Dessert & Main Course offer more detailed plans which often involve more than one class.  One-pagers are not connected with anything or part of a bigger plan, although you could do so if you feel it appropriate.  These are one-off classes, about 45 – 60 minutes in length, covering some grammar or vocabulary.  If any materials such as a worksheet are needed, they are provided as well.  You can find One-pagers in the top menu bar in the section of LESSONS.


Speaking activities.  Teachers are often on the lookout for activities to engage their students in and TODAY’S THEME is one of the resources they can draw from.  On the 15th of each month (except July and August) there will be a new theme available with 3 corresponding topics presented on separate cards for the students.  (The teacher chooses one.)  The card has the theme for today’s discussion, some vocabulary that can be used while speaking as well an optional recommended grammatical structure.  Accompanying the speaking cards is a teacher’s guide providing lead-in and closing questions and some examples of the grammar if it is to be used.


A few presentations on how some things work

This is a work in progress but should be ready by late Friday, Oct 19

Summary of Article 1

A brief guide to what is offered on the site and where to access it

An Introductory Overview of
Max’s English Corner

Summary of Article 2

A brief guide to what is offered on the site and where to access it

Social Issues on YouTube Videos
Dessert:  Undesirable Situations

Summary of Article 3

A brief guide to what is offered on the site and where to access it

Short stories to use in class
New sources of reading and speaking

Summary of Article 4

A brief guide to what is offered on the site and where to access it

Enhance speaking in class
Today’s Theme


See how the teaching idea can be used in a classroom activity