Billy and Jack

To finish our paper theme this month, here’s a video-based lesson from a new section in The Guardian newspaper, where experts encourage people to try out new things. There are prediction and listening tasks while watching the musician teach the cook how to busk successfully in London. To finish off, we have a webquest for homework to find out more.

Click here for the video

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes


Photo taken from by @sandymillin, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

A Piece of Paper

mosaicd7ca0bfe77bcb4eeba5f566b62ebc00d82ad31d6Photo taken from by Eleftheria Papaioannou , used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

The first post of March is taken from The Guardian’s monthly review “Ad Break” – a brilliant video resource for classes. In this ad from Russia, a simple piece of paper can be a powerful force for good or bad. If you can speak the local language, you’re at a slight advantage here but the possibilities for interpretation for the rest of us made for imaginative suggestions in our classes.

Click here for the video.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

Multiple Choice – an Urban Legend

What do you do if oversleep and miss the start of an exam? If you’re anything like the three hapless characters in this short film, you come up with an excuse and hope your teacher falls for it. Based on a short film, which in turn is inspired by an urban legend that many of you will have heard, this lesson starts off with discussion about the topic of exams. Students then watch the film, which should provide them with lots of opportunities to increase their range of vocabulary, both exam and non-exam related.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes


Like last week, we’ve chosen another beautifully crafted video with spectacular images. Filmed by the production company Gnarly BayChoice is a visual poem which documents the filmmaker’s thoughts and emotions on a four-week holiday travelling around South Africa and Mozambique.

In class, students look at some collocations with the word choice, put them into practice in a speaking activity, and then work with the visuals before seeing the poem. Finally, we pull all the strands together when we watch the whole video and find out how the film got its name.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes

Frozen Planet

This activity is based on Frozen Planet, the BBC/Discovery series which charts life at the furthest reaches of the globe. It’s so full of jaw-dropping visuals you’ll be hard pressed to pick out just one clip. We ended up choosing a world first – this is apparently the first ever complete filming of killer whales “wave washing” a seal.
The activities for this clip are a collaborative memory task before and while viewing. After viewing, pronunciation practice with the script to work on chunking, rhythm and stress. If you can get hold of the DVD, students can try to sound like David Attenborough, and if you’re using the American version on YouTube, Alec Baldwin is the model to copy.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes

The Bear and the Hare – a Christmas lesson plan

Take an occasionally controversial singer out of a short, self-imposed retirement, give her a Keane song to cover, add a bear, a hare and a beautifully crafted Christmas cartoon, mix with some activities focussing on listening, speaking and vocabulary development, and you have our Christmas lesson plan for this year.

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

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The Tea Song

For our second tea-themed post this month, we have another break-up, but this time all is well as there’s a cuppa at hand for the spurned lover. It’s a catchy song from a very funny ad that was filmed in just one take. Watch out for the zombie ending…

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.


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