There are 3 cannibals and 3 missionaries who want to cross a river. There is a small boat which can carry 2 people, 1 person must remain in the boat to row it across the river. If the number of cannibals on any side is greater than the number of missionaries, the cannibals will eat the missionaries. Students need to find a solution to the problem.
We should/ought to…
If we leave the cannibals here, they’ll eat the missionary.
Hold on a minute!
What if we…..?
How about +ing…
Have students work as a class to solve the puzzle.
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This is a video lesson based around the video “Mr. Bean packs his suitcase” thanks to British Council for bringing it to my attention in their lesson plan on making predictions but I’ve adapted it for use in different ways with different levels.
Kids and lower levels
The aim of this lesson plan is to practice holiday vocabulary (clothes and items that go in a suitcase) and some basic grammar structure.
Project a picture of a suitcase on to the board (or draw one) and ask “What do you put in your suitcase when you go on holiday?” Brainstorm things that you pack on the board. Make sure students know:
can of baked beans
You could also use this quizlet set to go over clothes vocabulary.
If children are old enough to write, put them in pairs and hand out post-it-notes and a pencil to each pair. Tell them they are going to watch a video of a silly man packing his suitcase, they have to write 5 things on the post-it that they think he will put in his suitcase. Have them copy the following:
Mr. Bean will put
in his suitcase.
Then stick all the post-its on the board and show the video. The team that guesses the most objects correctly wins. Have them read out their original post-it using past simple affirmative and negative forms: “Mr.Bean put a shirt in his suitcase. He didn’t put a mobile phone in his suitcase.”
Higher levels – video dictations
Ask students: What do you have to do before you go on holiday?
Buy your ticket, pack your suitcase, find your passport etc.
Pre-teach the following vocabulary:
can of baked beans
to fit (the chair doesn’t in my bag)
to take out (I took a pen out of my bag)
to pack a suitcase
to swap (I swapped the shirt for a t-shirt)
pick up (I picked up the pen)
throw away (I threw away the coke can)
to choose (I chose the red shirt)
to do eeny-meany-miney-mo
to realise (I realised I had forgotten my passport)
to squeeze (I squeezed the toothpaste)
to snap in half (He snapped the pencil in half)
Put students in pairs and arrange them so that 1 is facing the screen and one has their back to the screen. Tell them that the one facing the screen is going to watch 20 seconds of the video then describe it to their partner, their partner will then repeat back what they’ve heard to make sure they have understood. Students then change positions and repeat until minute 3:14. Then let all students watch the end together. Alternatively students could come up with predictions for how the video will end.
I recommend pausing the video quite frequently so that students can concentrate on describing 2 or three actions accurately rather than trying to describe a big chunk of the video.
Then replay the whole video from the start so that everyone can watch it together, ask students if they think their partner described the action well.
This is a discussion class for higher levels (high B2 – C2) based around the Logan Laplante’s TED talk video on “hack-schooling” a form of home schooling based round applicable skills and hands-on experience.
The video is 11 minutes long so I set it for homework the lesson before so that students could watch and rewatch as many times as they needed to fully understand it. Alternatively, you could watch it in class if you have time.
Logan uses some skier/skater American slang, for example:
To be stoked – to be excited about/interested in something
to be bummed out – to be annoyed/disappointed
Other vocab that might need highlighting:
To log out of reality – to escape from reality
mashup – a mixture/fusion of different elements
hacker mindset – a mindset is a set of attitudes a person has
What was your first impression of Logan?
How old is he?
Is he a typical 13 year old?
What are the 8 keys to happiness? (Exercise/diet and nutrition/time in nature/contribution and service to others/relationships/recreation/religious and spiritual)
What do you think of this idea?
How does he define a “hacker”? (A person who changes and improves established systems)
What is “hack-schooling”? (opportunistic learning that doesn’t follow a curriculum with no fixed structure)
What do you think of this idea?
How and what does Logan learn?
Is it for everyone?
Is it only for people from a privileged background?
“Schools are orientated towards making a living rather than making a life” What do you think of this statement? Do you agree?
Do students today learn applicable skills?
What do you think Logan is going to be when he grows up?
What would your friends say if you pulled your children out of school?
Put students in pairs of groups of 3 and have them role play the last question, student A has decided to pull their kids out of school to teach them at home, student B thinks they are crazy!
“The education system does not prepare students for life.”
Split group in to two groups, 1 in support and 1 against the motion. Follow standard debate structure, 2 minute opening arguments, rebuttals etc.
This is a handout with as much language and advice possible for approaching the CPE writing part 2 review tasks. I made it for my December candidates, fingers crossed they actually read it! I only had time to add language for film, book and restaurant reviews, in return for using my lesson plan please be so kind as to answer me the following question:
What other types or review have you come across in CPE exams? Let me know and I’ll endeavour to add language for them to this phrase list.
You can download the handout here: CPE Review (formatting looks better in word than on wordpress!)
Use: all your colourful vocabulary:
Phrasal verbs/idioms/impressive collocations.
Forms and conventions:
Title: for films/books/restaurants use the name/title or if think up an imaginative title using an idiom/expression.
3. WHAT do you want to say? Add your notes to each paragraph in simple form.
4. HOW are you going to say that? Brainstorm advanced grammar and vocabulary for each note.
5. Forms and conventions: Title paragraph titles, fixed introduction.
6. Write! Remember word limit is: 280-320
Personal anecdote to grab attention. Introduce name of book/film, restaurant + location, course, TV show etc.
Seldom do I find the time to…, however when I do take time out of my hectic schedule, I like nothing more than…
Being a bit of a film buff/book worm/foody, the news that … had opened a new restaurant/released a new film/book had me itching to try/see/read it. So last week I popped down with a friend to check it out.
Having never seen/read/tried… before I approached … with a sense of trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Soon however, all my fears were allayed.
Vocab to describe the book in general:
a page-turner / a white-knuckle ride / a tearjerker / a laugh a minute / I couldn’t put it down.
Vocab to describe specific parts:
a slow start / a gentle introduction /gripping climax / nail-biting conclusion / cliff-hanger ending/ a shocking twist in the tail
The book is set in _______(place/time)
The action takes place in ______ (place/time)
the present day (now)
an alternate reality where vampires / wizards walk the earth
a sleepy village in the USA
the bustling city of New York
The plot centres around / focuses on (the adventures / lives of _________)
The plot follows the adventures of _________(character name)
Villain / hero / heroine / anti-hero / main character / protagonist
The characters are believable / well-crafted / a bit 2 dimensional.
An all-star cast
heavily influenced by the films of..
suspense builds up
a polished performance
a bold experiment
an accomplished actor
an unmitigated disaster (bad film)
a dazzling display of his/her talents
made a lasting impression on me.
Brought a tear to my eye
Like watching paint dry (boring)
I was on the edge of my seat (exciting)
A blockbuster (big commercial film eg Superman)
… sets off an amazing chain of events
Gripping film (exciting)
The director/author evoked a magical atmosphere
… awakened my interest in…
Hold my attention
Capture the audience’s imagination.
Spectacular set-pieces (main action scenes)
… is cast in the role of…
… is miscast in the role of…
…gives a(n) (un)convincing performance as…
The film is let down by a clichéd script.
With a kick (spicy)
Packed with flavour
A steaming plate of..
Service with a smile
A plate piled high with..
To die for
To lick your lips in anticipation
Make a pig of one’s self
To feast/gorge on (eat a lot of)
To eat/drink to your heart’s content
Aromas wafting from the kitchen
Cheap – economical/reasonably-priced
Expensive – pricey/costs an arm and a leg
€20 a head (per person)
Were I to sum up … in one word, it would be…
… left a lot to be desired (wasn’t good enough)
…more than lives up to the hype (is as good as everyone says it is)
… is by far and away the best … you’re likely to … this year
… really raises the bar (sets a higher standard)
… sets the benchmark for other (others will be judges against how good it is)
This is a lesson plan to based around a 6 point plan for CAE/CPE writing tasks. It is designed to help students plan their compositions better and complete the tasks fully. The example is a CPE task but the system is applicable to FCE and CAE as well.
The prezi will walk students through the 6 step system. Included in the prezi are several scanned documents of each planning stage. Below I have included my example review and the various scanned documents in case you want to print them or project them individually.
My BBC review – This is the example from the end of the prezi, you may want to print it and give it out to students to evaluate in pairs.