The curriculum includes 24 lessons divided into four categories: Health, Community, Home, and Cultural Preservation. Although they are listed this way, and might benefit from being presented as units, each lesson is independent from the others, so lessons can be chosen as best meets a groups contextual needs. Each lesson has an overview with general objectives, key vocabulary, and materials list. Enough activities for a two-hour lesson, or more, are given. That being said, the times given are meant to be general estimates. Students numbers, levels, interest, needs, etc. will all effect lesson times. Some lessons can be easily split over two or more sessions, and might be preferable to do so, as concepts and vocabulary can be revisited or further activities added.
All of the print materials needed for the lesson are provided unless otherwise noted. The picture cards and fonts are large by design to accommodate elders with vision and hearing challenges. All the materials are copyrighted and can be used in the classroom, but not reproduced for sale. Some lessons have PowerPoint presentations to support the lesson or links to videos. Other lessons include links to other sites which contain excellent resources and materials.
Each lesson is designed to begin with conversation circles. If possible, 4-8 students and a teacher are optimal for each group. Conversation Cards are provided with each lesson, as well as a list of suggested questions that could be used within each group. Each card has four pictures meant to encourage conversation, activate schema for the upcoming lesson, and provide an opportunity for students to interact and share.
A variety of activities are offered for each lesson. Most encourage movement and interaction among the students. All have the goal of teaching functional English, while also supporting integration, orientation, and community. The materials for each activity are listed as well as general times and the learning objectives.
Elder Outreach ESL was first conceived as part of a larger program of outreach. ESL classes ideally work in tandem with workshops and field trips and mutually support each other to provide community orientation, resource education, opportunities for social interaction, and skills practice. Suggestions for this component are given at the end of each lesson plan.