Subject: ESL/ELL (English Language Learning)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Cognates, Vocabulary

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will notice cognates that exist in English and Spanish. These are words that are both visibly and audibly similar, and have the same meaning.

Know Before You Start: Be prepared with a list of cognates as a reference.


  • Read and discuss the sample comic.
  • Display several pictures that have cognates in both English and Spanish, e.g., fruit/fruta, family/familia, elephant/elefante.
  • Explain that in English and Spanish some words look and sound alike, and they can also mean the same thing. 
  • Have students work with a partner to think of other words that have cognates in both English and Spanish. 
  • Join pairs together to discuss their ideas. Then, have groups share their list aloud. Record student responses on chart paper.


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a comic in which they:
    • Explain what a cognate is.
    • Give at least three examples of cognates in English and Spanish. 
  • Challenge students to write sentences in both languages that use their chosen cognate.


  • Have students present their comics to a partner, a small group, or the whole class.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Allow students to add cognates to their comic as they are learn throughout the school year. 
  • Explore cognates within other languages as needed.