This is a lesson plan for C1/C2 students by Soleil García Brito on the topic of face recognition based around a video and a gapped text exercise. The warmer could also be used with lower levels (B1/B2). At the end of the lesson students can take an online test to see if they are “super recognisers”; you’ll find the link below.
Download the student’s handout and teacher’s notes below.
This is another guest post by Soleil García Brito on the topic of gender roles and the colour pink but this time for higher level students (C1/C2). The lesson plan is made up of two video exercises, a gapped text reading exercise and a discussion on the topic. Download the student handout and teacher’s notes below:
This is a guest post by Soleil García Brito. It is a lesson plan on the topic of gender roles. Students complete a First-Certificate-style multiple choice cloze exercise, a listening comprehension based on a clip from Friends and finally, a discussion on the topic. Download the student handout and teacher’s notes below:
Look at these statements about survival. Are they factual or myths?
a) Anyone can start a fire with just two sticks
b) Boiled water is always 100% safe to drink
c) Reality shows about survival will help you prepare for a dire situation
d) You need to find food right away
e) You need to find water immediately to survive in desert heat
f) You can outrun a bear
g) The best way to stop a shark attack is by punching it in the nose
Read the texts and match the titles a-g
“In reality, you can survive on just your body’s fat stores for weeks, as long as you have water. Conserving energy, avoiding injury, and sourcing a supply of water are key to surviving,” said Ras. “Hunting and trapping prey are hit and miss activities which often produce nothing and simply end up expending energy and risking injury or illness. It’s extremely rare for someone to die of starvation in a survival situation. Injury, illness, poisoning and exposure are much more likely to result in death. By definition, ‘surviving’ a situation is short-term, and in the short term a person can be fueled by their fat reserves.”
“None of us would be here today if our ancestors hadn’t mastered the fine art of friction firemaking, but this is a skill to practice on camping trips and backyard outings,” said Tony Nester of Ancient Pathways Survival School. It’s a big mistake to rely solely on friction firemaking in a survival situation, especially when you could end up in a damp environment. Modern survival is about being prepared and carrying at least three firestarters (waterproof matches, spark-rod, lighter) with you at all times,” said Nester. “I teach primitive firemaking skills to show my students how to perform the method but find that, even under the best of conditions, it is a challenge and not reliable for most people.”
“I’ve worked as a consultant on several reality shows and these shows are heavily-scripted,” said Nester. “On one program, there was a crew of 12 people accompanying us, including two staff whose sole job was to drag around coolers filled with double-shot espressos and sandwiches while filming scenes of the host living off the land. There’s nothing romantic or fun about real survival—it’s only adventure in retrospect.”
Running away from a bear is a lost cause: Usain Bolt himself couldn’t beat one in a footrace, let alone on uneven terrain. The best thing to do depends on the species. If you encounter a black bear, said Nester, “Hold your ground and make yourself look big—open your coat up, throw your arms up above your head—and shout and scream and, a lot of times, they’re as spooked as you are, and will take off.” Take the opposite approach with a grizzly: “Avoid eye contact, which a bear will perceive to be a challenge. If the bear’s not approaching, back away slowly. If it charges, simply stand your ground. If you have pepper spray, be ready to use it… and pronto. If it makes physical contact with you, cover your vitals and play dead.”
“Even though it’s true that sharks get stunned if they get punched in the nose, not many people the strength to do this, especially underwater,” said Manighetti. Even if you could manage the strength to hit the nose hard enough, there’s a chance your hand could end up getting injured by shark teeth. “The best way to scare a shark away is to scratch its eyes or gills, it’s impossible to overpower these fierce creatures in attack mode.”
“While boiling water will kill off organisms and germs, it will not clean harmful particulates from the water. For instance, no matter how long you boil chemically contaminated water it won’t be safe to drink,” said Jack. “This same principle applies to stagnant dirty water. If the water you are attempting to purify is visibly dirty or murky, you should filter the water before attempting to boil it. If you don’t have a commercial water filter available, then you can either pour the dirty water through a clean fabric (towel or shirt) or leave the water to stand until the sediments sink to the bottom. Then just pour the clean water from the top…and then boil.”
“You will last longer in the heat by holding up in the shade versus searching for water during the afternoon hours,” said Nester. “If you do run out of water, find a north-facing boulder and sit in the shade; keep covered to prevent evaporative sweat loss; stay off the hot ground by sitting on your pack or a pile of debris; and only move around during the cooler hours of the morning or evening.” If you didn’t tell anyone about your travel plans, though, rescue will likely take more than a few hours and you should search for water when the temperature drops.
Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉 https://www.facebook.com/2tspodcast/
This is a listening activity for B2+ students based around a Youtube clip of a Joe Lycett stand-up comedy routine on the subject of scammers. Download the handout, teacher’s notes, full transcript and powerpoint below:
Use the first slide of the PowerPoint to pre-teach the UK cultural references students will need for the video:
Class and social status are very important in the UK, this manifests itself in snobbery about supermarkets: Waitrose is a posh expensive supermarket, Aldi is a cheap, lower quality one.
Dorothy Perkins is a relatively cheap high street clothes shop.
Gumtree is a popular website where people list many things: properties for rent, things for sale etc.
A scam is when someone tries to trick someone else out of their money. Common scams include: email scams, social media scams, rental scams, holiday apartment scams (timeshare), fake goods scams (watches, shoes, handbags etc.)
In pairs students compare their own country with the UK, do these scams exist?
Students discuss in pairs.
You’re going to watch a video of the British comedian Joe Lycett telling a story about how he scammed a scammer via email.
What is the scam? A property scam, to get a viewing of a flat, potential tenants must transfer money using a site called moneytoindia.eu
Now watch again and answer these questions:
Why does Joe start emailing Gemma? His friend discovers it and realises it is a scam.
What does Gemma say about the flat? That it is in a beautiful area with parking facilities.
What does Gemma ask Joe to do? Send $220 and his home address.
Prediction: What is Joe going to do next?
Watch the next part (until 2:06): Were your predictions correct?
Where did Joe say he was? In Stockholm
Where was he really? In his garden in Birmingham drinking prosecco.
What was Gemma’s excuse for not meeting him? That she was in Berlin on a business trip.
Predict: What do you think Joe will do next?
Watch the next part (until 3:28): Were your predictions correct?
What does the German phrase Joe uses mean? I know this is a scam.
How did Joe make his story more convincing? By including a photo of himself in Berlin from a previous holiday.
How did Joe finish the latest email? By saying he was going to contact the FBI to check Gemma out.
Predict: What do you think will happen next?
Watch the rest of the video: Were your predictions correct?
How did Gemma react to Joe’s email about the FBI? She panicked and sent lots of emails.
How did Joe give Gemma a taste of her own medicine? By asking her to send him $300 to cancel the FBI check.
What did Gemma say in her last email? That she was sorry and would try to live a better life.
What did you think of the video?
Decoding – Transcript Work – KEY
Watch the first part of the video again and fill in the gaps in the transcript with what you hear:
So this is my favorite thing that’s come as a result of me being a bit weird with somebody online. A friend of mine was looking for somewhere to live in London, which as I’m sure you’re aware is quite expensive, quite difficult increasingly.
He found somewhere on gumtree that looked kind of promising did a bit of emailing back and forth and realized pretty quickly this is probably a scam and so he sent all the emails that he’d done already over to me and just did the subject heading: “do your absolute worst”. A girl called Gemma, who was supposedly advertising this property, I sent her a fresh email, I said: “Hello Gemma I’m contacting you regarding the apartment listed on Gumtree, I’m interested in a viewing and wanted to arrange, regards Joe Lycett.” I used my own name on this one.
Is this a good way to deal with scammers?
Do similar scams exist in your country?
Have you ever been a victim of a scam?
What do you think of this type of comedy? Do you find it funny?
Which other stand-up comedians do you like? Have you ever been to a live show?
Did you enjoy this activity?
If students are struggling to understand the text, try slowing the speed down on youtube, or give them the full transcript as a last resort.
Put students in pairs, depending on their level show them either the first slide with 4 photos or the second slide with the word cloud. Give them 10 minutes to invent a Christmas story using all of the words or pictures, monitor while they work and feed in any language that is needed.
Students then read out their stories to the class, discuss any language issues that come up. Students can then vote on which story they liked best.
Then show students the John Lewis advert:
Ask students the following questions:
Whose story was the most similar to the advert?
How different was your story?
Did you like the video? If so, what did you like about it?
Show the word cloud again, have students write out the story of the advert again from memory using the words as prompts. Students then read out their different versions.
For homework, students write the next part of the story, what did the girl do next? How did the foxes and the badger spend Christmas day?
This is a new TED talk lesson plan for higher levels (C1+) on the subject of bio-engineering and cloning. Thanks to my colleague Cliff Grossman for recommending this fascinating talk. You can download the materials below:
This is a new TED talk lesson plan for C1+ students. You can either set the TED talk with the comprehension questions as homework or watch the talk in class as it’s only 12 minutes long. Download the handout and teacher’s notes below:
Discuss the meaning of the phrases in bold with your partner.
I had just driven home,it was around midnight in the dead of Montreal winter.
As I stood on the front porch fumbling in my pockets,I found I didn’t have my keys.
It releases cortisol that raises your heart rate,it modulates adrenaline levels and it clouds your thinking.
Now you might be thinkingI’ve pulled this number out of the air for shock value.
So the idea of the pre-mortem is to think ahead of timeto the questions that you might be able to ask that will push the conversation forward. You don’t want to have to manufacture all of this on the spot.
You might change your mind in the heat of the moment,but at least you’re practiced with this kind of thinking.
So I’m not completely organized,but I see organization as a gradual process, and I’m getting there.
What happens in the anecdote Daniel tells at the start of the talk?
What were the consequences of Daniels clouded thinking?
What is the solution he comes up with?
What are the two practical tips he gives for common problems?
What are the two questions he recommends asking to a doctor before they prescribe you a drug?
What was the historical advantage to the brain releasing cortisol in stressful situations?
What did you think of the talk?
Have you ever been in a similar situation to the one Daniel describes in his anecdote? What did you do?
Have you ever forgotten a passport or boarding card when flying somewhere? What did you do?
Are you an absent-minded person? What things do you lose/misplace? Where do you keep your keys/mobile/wallet at home?
In what situations is it good idea to predict the possible problems that could occur?
Are you good at making decisions under pressure?
What do you think of what he says about the medical industry?
Would you trade quality of life for a longer life?
What things could possibly go wrong in these situations, and how could you prepare for the problems?
A job interview
Travelling by plane
An important exam
A first date
The first day at a new job
A surprise party
Climbing a mountain
In the dead of winter/night = in the middle of
Fumble = to feel/do something clumsily/inefficiently
Clouds your thinking = confuses/affects your thinking in a bad way
Pull a number out of the air = invent a number in the moment of speaking
For shock value = in order to cause shock
On the spot = in the moment of speaking, also “to put someone on the spot” = force someone to answer a difficult question without preparation.
In the heat of the moment = do something while stressed/angry/excited
I’m getting there = I’m making progress
He forgets his keys so has to smash the basement window to get into his house.
He forgets his passport the next morning when he goes to the airport.
To perform a “pre-mortem” evaluation of possible problems that could occur.
Designate a place for commonly lost things: keys, wallet etc. Take a photo of things you might lose while travelling: credit card, passport, keys and save it to the cloud to make it easier to get them back.
What is the number needed to treat? What are the side-effects?
When faced with a predator it helped us to escape.
This is a conversation lesson plan based around Rita Pierson’s TED talk entitled: Every Kid Needs a Champion it’s suitable for C1+ although high B2s might be able to deal with it if you break the video up a bit. Download the handout below:
Have students watch the TED talk for homework or you can show it in class as it’s only 8 mins long. Then give out the handout and have students discuss it in small groups or as a class.
What is the talk about?
What did you think of the speaker?
Was she easy to understand?
What is her message?
Look at these quotes from the talk and discuss the questions below:
“And we know why kids drop out. We know why kids don’t learn. It’s either poverty, low attendance, negative peer influences… We know why.”
Which of these things do you think has the biggest impact on dropout rates?
What can be done to help?
“James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”
“George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships.”
What is your interpretation of these quotes?
Do you agree with them?
A colleague said to me one time, “They don’t pay me to like the kids. They pay me to teach a lesson. The kids should learn it. I should teach it, they should learn it, Case closed.”
Well, I said to her, “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
What do you think of the teacher’s quotes? Do you agree?
Do students have to like their teacher to learn from them?
“How do I raise the self-esteem of a child and his academic achievement at the same time?”
How important is it that a teacher raises their students’ self-esteem?
What methods does Rita mention? What other ways can they do it?
“One year I came up with a bright idea. I told all my students, “You were chosen to be in my class because I am the best teacher and you are the best students, they put us all together so we could show everybody else how to do it.”
“I gave a quiz, 20 questions. A student missed 18. I put a “+2” on his paper and a big smiley face.”
What do you think of these methods? Do you think they would work?
“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”
What do you think of her message?
Did you have a “champion” when you were growing up? Who was it?