Teach English Writing Skills: A Nifty Lesson About Articles

Writing with Articles

Articles are tricky. Those small, pesky words – a, an the – cause students learning English a good deal of uncertainty. Here’s a three-part lesson with loads of activities to help students learn and practice the proper usage of articles.


Step 1 Review Basic Rules

Review 7 rules that govern the correct usage of articles. It’s not a complete list. I’ve found it’s easy to overload student comprehension with too many grammar rules.

Step 2 Practice

Two sets of practice questions are here. I like to use one set in the first week of the lesson and the second as a review during the following week.

Practice questions 1

Practice questions 2

Step 3 Writing Activity

This short writing activity combines several skills: story telling, good word choice, proper use of articles and a brain teaser. Basic instructions are included on the printable worksheet.

The writing flow goes something like this:

Tell students this is an old logic puzzle about a man, boat, goat and cabbage. He wants to cross the river, but can carry only one thing at a time.

The pictures tell the story, but they are out of order. Look at the pictures and put them in the correct order.

Write the story using the pictures as prompts; about one or two sentences per picture.

Use correct articles in the sentences.

Challenge students in an intermediate+ class to use a different verb for each picture.

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