How to Teach GIVING INSTRUCTIONS for Form Four

How to Teach GIVING INSTRUCTIONS for Form Four

Form Four 


On the Sub Topic; Giving Instructions.

UNIT: 3:4.

(Also: For Literature in English Subject, Check out my Literature in English Blog. Also check out My Diary for Diary Writing Inspiration and More! )

2. Sub Topic 2: Giving Instructions.
3. Periods per sub topic: 8
4: Class: Form Four.

The objective of this sub topic is to enable students to appropriately give instructions (especially to whom).
In our daily lives, we give various instructions. It is almost enough to say, no single day passes without giving instruction to someone or being given instructions to carry out a certain activity, process, or action.
Being mostly operated activity in our daily, teaching Giving instructions to the students is just making them experience the things that happen in their daily lives. In fact, we instruct students at school and when they go home, they are instructed too.


Most instructions are given at various situations. Some are given at school, home, hospital, or even at the street. In all these situations, various verbs and imperatives are applied according to the topic in question.
In this activity, a teacher should introduce the students to the useful verbs and imperatives for instructions. Most of these verbs and phrases are imperatives, command verbs or verb phrases that are used to give orders, instructions, or directions, for example, ‘come here’. Some of them are:

Draw=instructing to sketch something on the board.
Fold=instructing to fold an object like a paper.
Pour=instructing to discharge a liquid on something like on saucepan.
Shake=instructing to shake something especially bottle medicine before use.
Turn on / switch on = activate power or electricity: "First, turn on the PC."
Turn off / switch off = deactivate power or electricity: "Turn off the lights when you leave."
Take off / remove = detach something from another thing: "Remove the plastic before you put the meal in the microwave."
Take out = take one thing out from another thing: "Take the television out of the box."
Attach / connect = put two things together: "Connect the wires."
Check / make sure = be sure about something: "Check that the light is on."
Proceed / Continue : "Continue to stir until the mixture is thick."
Plug in = connect to the electricity: "Plug the modem in."
Put back / replace: "Replace the cover after changing the battery."

After introducing students to the useful verbs and phrases in giving instructions, now a teacher can guide them to actual process of giving instructions. In our lives, we have both negative and positive instructions. Each kind of instructions has its own verbs. Mostly, negative instructions have verbs preceded by the word, ‘Do not’ or ‘Don’t’.
In giving instructions, we follow the following procedures:
  •   First, know the subject you are going to give instructions for.
  •   Know the imperative forms you are going to use. These are those imperative forms like those which are used in instruction manuals or when someone tells you how to do something.
  •   Apply sequencing words to show the steps in the process. For example, "firstly", "secondly" and "finally".
  •   If it is possible, numbering your instructions is a good idea.

AN EXAMPLE: Simple instructions to replace a light bulb
  •  Firstly, turn off the electricity.
  •  Secondly, remove the light bulb.
  •  Then, screw in the new light bulb.
  • Finally , turn the electricity on and switch on the light.

You can also say "after that" instead of "then" and "first" / "second" instead of "firstly" and "secondly".

Giving extra help. When you give instructions, you can help the other person with extra information and advice. This extra information can help a person a lot. Some of them are like:
Remember: turn off the electricity before touching any cables.
Be careful not to … (touch any live wires)
Try to … (see if the light bulb is broken or just loose)
Try not to … (touch the light bulb with your hands)
You need to … (check the wattage of the light bulb first)
It's important to … (make sure the electricity is off)
It helps to … (wait for the light bulb to cool down before you remove it)
Be sure to … (turn off the electricity before you touch the light bulb)
Always … (wear gloves when you touch a light bulb)
Never … (touch a socket with wet hands)


As a teacher, you may allow students to have their own instructions. You can put them in pairs, think about the subject they should give instructions for or allow them to pick their own subject, and then allow them to give instructions orally.

Apart from that, a teacher can allow the students to write their own instruction in pairs. After they write, teacher can allow them to present to the class. At the end of an activity, a teacher can allow students to vote for a best one, and put it on the board for others to see.

6: CONNECTION: Beyond the Sub Topic. Giving Instructions help students to learn more on speaking, listening, reading and writing as well. In a nutshell, it is a process that helps them learn all four language skills especially when it is conducted well.

7: NOTE: When you look back at GENERAL INTRODUCTION section of this article, you can see how giving instructions is very common in our daily lives. This proves to us, teachers that, teaching Giving Instructions should be implemented in the way it should be. After all, when we engage students in the things they already know, our teaching becomes so easy and understandable as well!


Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.


Please share your thoughts

  1. Because I am teaching LISTENING FOR INFORMATION,I had to pass here and deepen my understanding on teaching "Giving Instructions".
    This lesson has enlighten me.Thanks for your effort brother for us.

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