Topic: YOGA! the cure for everything.external image om_symbol.gif

Standards to Address:
Currently, I don't teach ESL/EFL. I have no standards to pull from.

  • SWBAT identify several types of non traditional healing therapies.
  • SWBAT describe how certain yoga stretches help ease back pain.
  • SWBAT create a yoga session addressing the needs of practitioners with back pain.
  • SWBAT evaluate their classmates yoga session, by giving feedback and, possibly, reorganizing their classmates postures.

Reading Content
Over the years, I have found myself teaching yoga classes to ELLs. The poses are easy to interpret because everyone is working on the same asanas at the same time and I get to walk around the class adjusting poses, helping with breathing, etc. Often, these yoga classes turn into theory. Several times I have brought in books to help explain meditations, breathing, herbal healing and the like. I could easily see myself teaching a class like this to ELLs. As the practice is universal, the theory is clear, but when presenting it to ELLs, there can be some hiccups. Giving students a bit of theory will enhances their practice. Even though Sri Pattabhi Jois always said,"99% practice and 1% theory" that 1% theory can be very useful.

Keep in mind when reading this lesson, the students are yogis. They are full of prior knowledge.

Part 1: Vocabulary

Online Tool: Urban Dictionaryexternal image 51GT3FS02AL._SS500_.jpg

URL: Urban Dictionary

Off line Tool: Dictionary of Natural Healing

Task or Activity: Dictionary Race...
  1. Students will be in groups of 3: a looker; a searcher; a writer.
  2. Teacher will write one word on the board. (The words will not be in the chart like below. The charts will only have the column categories.)
  3. The looker will look up word and read the definition. (This is a lesson in using indexes).
  4. The searcher will search Urban Dictionary for the definition and read the definition.
  5. The writer will write the page number from the looker and the definition from the searcher in the chart.
  6. First team to complete tasks 3-5 first get a point.
  7. The group of 3 will discuss which definition is best. They need to have evidence to why the one they choose is best (critical thinking skills).
  8. One group will be chosen to share their thoughts about which is best. That group will lead a small classroom discussion, 2 minutes, max.
  9. Teacher will write the next word on the board... repeat.
Vocabulary Word
Page in Dictionary
Write the definition from
Which is better? Why?






Part 2: Reading

Online Tool: Breaking News English

URL: yoga is best for back pain sufferers

Task or Activity:
  1. Pre-Reading... Students would sit in chairs and the teacher would lead them thru a series of poses... in the chair.
    • find a chair that when you sit, your thighs are almost parallel to the floor and your knees make as close to a 90 degree angle as they can when your feet are flat on the floor (toes pointing forward, knees slightly turned in).
    • sit with butt in the middle of the chair, not the edge, not the back; knees about 8 inches apart; hands on thigh; feet flat on the floor; back straight (maybe slightly concave); chest open; relax shoulder by pulling the shoulder blades down toward tailbone; look straight ahead and focus on something across the room, (this is your drishti).
    • breath in by raising the chest. with each exhale, lower the shoulder blades further to the tailbone. 5 breathes.
    • keeping the same seated position, on an inhale, bring your hands up to the ceiling and look up; interlace all fingers except the index and thumb; point the indexes to the ceiling and let the thumbs touch.
    • relax on each exhale; with each inhale, push your arms toward the ceiling. 5 breathes.
    • on the last exhale, return to the original seated position. 5 breathes.
    • forward bend on the next exhale, keeping your head in line with your spine; hand can slowly move down your legs, maybe hold your shins, ankles, toes or put your hands flat on the floor next to your feet; last, focus your eyes to the floor between your feet, but refrain from allowing your back to curve.
    • hold your stomach in (don't allow it to rest on your thighs); remember to breath thru your chest; 5 breathes.
    • on the last inhale, look up; exhale by folding your arms in front of your shins and dropping your head, looking under the chair.
    • remember hold in your stomach, the back is slightly convex. 5 breathes.
    • inhale by bringing the arms straight up to the ceiling as before (interlacing fingers, etc); exhale back to original seated position.
  2. Teacher leads a quick discussion on how those stretches felt.
  3. Students would read the short passage found at Breaking News English.
  4. Students will create a chart of four poses that help with back pain. The poses should be put in a clear order, maybe include pictures. Students should include breathing and drishti.
external image sun.png

Part 3: Writing

Online Tool: Wikispace


Task or Activity:
It seems too simple... have students create a WIKI using their yoga poses as the design.
  1. After students finish the reading, groups will be formed to create their four poses
  2. Students will make a WIKI to show what the 4 poses are and give a brief explanation of why they have chosen the poses and why have they put them in their chosen order.
  3. Students must also give a step by step description (in writing) explaining how their students will get in and out of the poses.
  4. Students will also have to pinpoint the particular place practitioners are feeling back pain.
  5. This wiki will be part of the assessment. Students will have to teach their poses as well.

Part 4: Assessingexternal image rubri.gif

NOTE: I struggle looking for the correct way to assess this project. Reason being, the students are not teachers, they are not really looking to become teachers. And, would this project make them better yogis? Anyway, I like the graphic to the right presented by Kay Gaisford on her blog. She also presents some great links explaining rubrics. To get my yoga students to create criteria would be great. I'm not sure they would be interested. I'd need to lead the students to create the criteria I want, or what I think would be most effective. That would include: postures, WIKI clarity (could they teach the order without seeing the presentation?), order/arrangement of postures, voice projection... or something like that.

Online Tool: Adventures in Ed Teaching


Observable outcomes:
  1. Students would come up with at least 4 criteria to assess their classmates.
  2. Each group will perform their series of postures.
  3. Groups will assess each other.
  4. At the end of each predestination, other groups can re-order their classmates postures if need be.