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ESL forum > Concerning worksheets > What, in your opinion, is a good Worksheet?    

What, in your opinion, is a good Worksheet?

United States

What, in your opinion, is a good Worksheet?
We all have our own preferences of what makes a worksheet good.
Our needs and our students needs are different.

Some here have many resources at school and some (unfortunately)have none.
For me - a good worksheet is a worksheet that keeps the kids busy for a whole lesson. It has many different activities but related to one topic, for example, verbs.
I also like reading WSs with many activities to reinforce what the students have read.

We all have had students who are too shy to speak in front of the whole class, so this is where conversation cards come in handy. Kids often will speak more with each other, and there is more speaking time when they talk two and two than only one student at a time speaking or answering the teacher.

Good board games are also fun for the students and keeps them busy as they learn.
These are just a few of the materials I like.
What about you - what do you like?
ps- I think it s a shame when people just write a little story and don t use the time to add activities. Paper is also a natural resource, so it s nice that one sheet can be used over again or at least be used for a whole teaching hour.
ps again- this might give some members ideas of what is liked and needed!

9 Jul 2009      

Mariethe House

What a good idea libertybelle!

I like to know what the objectives are , what comes before and what comes next ( situate the ws in a context)and maybe join a picture of the activities produced by the students  with the ws....
I don t always do ( specify)it, very rarely in fact, but your post made me think and in the future , I will proceed like that!

Thanks a lot for an interesting post.

9 Jul 2009     


  In my opinion a good worksheet is a worksheet in which students not only have to complete grammar exercises, but where they can really practice in an oral way and if possible, - at the end of the lesson - produce the language. I think worksheets where situations in context are presented are the best because theyre preparing students when they have to face real situations.

9 Jul 2009     

Carla Horne
United States

Hi Libertybelle,

How long is your class period? We are on block scheduling, so our classes are 90 minutes. We are expected to change activities every 30-45 minutes, unless students are writing essays. In fact, we are observed to see how well we transition from one activity to another. I try to have independent reading, grammar, and class reading/writing, but I use different materials to do this. I can see how you would be disappointed with my worksheets, but it s what my district expects.


9 Jul 2009     


I have seen many great w/s on this site. I think that the most successful w/s in terms of downloads are those that contain great material, but are also presented in a certain way.
I am a big fan of simple blank and white w/s, but to be honest, I follow my eye when it comes to downloading free w/s each day (as well as content and the amount of downloads a w/s has).
I look members who upload w/s and get 70+ downloads in the first day.
Their w/s look a certain way and I think the key to a good w/s is creating one that is similar in design to those that the  hardcore upload, because they are the most highly respected on this site.
As for the kids that we teach, it all depends on what we do with the w/s and how they fit into the scale of things. W/S can be used to form a lesson round, or they may simple  be used as a reward for early finishers.
I guess it all depends on the w/s, the teacher, the teacher and the w/s.

9 Jul 2009     

United Kingdom

Thanks for this post Libertybelle - it s great to get some pointers on producing worksheets.
One thing that for me puts the finishing touch on a w/s is the inclusion of a key. Even if we think the answers are straightforward, I think it s just nice to add them. We might assume something is easy when for another teacher it s not particularly. It s not really for us to decide. If the key doesn t fit onto the document why not produce one separately and then people can pm you for it should they need it (so they don t have to pay a point for it). Just a suggestion.

Finally, I d just like to say keep up the good work folks, there s something terrific work on here.


13 Jul 2009