Free EFL/ESL Lesson Plan: How to Teach Who, What, Where, When, Why and How

One of the subjects an EFL/ESL teacher often struggles with is not only how to get students to understand the Five Ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why) and the One H (How), but also how to answer questions headed by one correctly.

That is why I created a simple, but fun, free EFL/ESL lesson plan to teach students the difference between each word and how to use each one to sum up any situation perfectly.

Expected Learning Outcome – EFL/ESL students will understand the differences between Who, What, Where, When, Why and How and be able to use them correctly.

Materials and Resources – Whiteboard markers, whiteboard, two handouts

Time Frame – 90-120 minutes (1-2 class periods)

Teaching Procedures

1. Give students a short handout, which lists each W word, the H word and a short explanation of when each one is used. For example Who = Used for people eg: the man, that girl, the audience, Somchai etc.

2. Go through every word, asking students to give you an example of a sentence using one particular word, eg: How — How will you ask your father for money? Answer – Politely, calmly, with fear etc.

3. When most students seem to have a basic understanding of each word, put them into either pairs or groups of 3-6 people, depending on the size of the classroom.

4. Give each group a handout. The handout explains that the group is going to organize a charity benefit concert but, before they do, they must know the answers to six questions. The questions are:

a) Why are they raising money, eg, which charity will benefit and why do they need the money? eg: Save the Children — to build a new school, Red Cross — to help tsunami victims etc. (Students can choose any charity they like).

b) What kind of concert will it be? Pop, rock, traditional music from their home country etc.

c). Where will they hold the concert? A large concert hall, on the beach, at a mall?

d) Who will play in the concert? Famous bands? One musician or several? Traditional singers or rock bands?

e) When will the concert be held? Date and time.

f) How Will they advertise the concert? Advertisements in newspapers, television ads, flyers etc.

5) Give your students 20-30 minutes to come up with answers to each question. Explain they must give a short presentation on what they have decided, and have at least one reason for why they chose the answer they did to each question.

Every member of the group must speak.

6) Bring groups up one by one to give their presentations. Ask each group at least one question, using a W word or the H word, that requires them to defend their decision eg: “Why did you choose to advertise on television?” etc.

7) If you have any time left over at the end of all presentations, sum up each team’s performance telling them where they did well and where they need improvement. Finish by going around the classroom again, asking each student a W word question or a How question.


1. Students’ understanding of vocabulary and ability to answer questions correctly , 2. behavior, participation and attention in class, 3. how well they could explain reasons for making decisions they did.

Related Reading: Free EFL/ESL lesson plan on prepositions — it’s fun for your students too!

A free, fun EFL lesson plan to help your beginner students learn transportation vocabulary

Free EFL/ESL lesson plan to help your students learn English numbers using games