Fruit and Nut Problem Solving


MAIN AIMS Speaking to describe processes, noticing and looking up vocabulary, improving group dynamics and motivation

SUITABLE FOR Younger learners, teens and adults, Intermediate (B1) and above

TEACHER’S NOTES (Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes)

1.  Ask your learners to form small groups. They tell each other whether they think they are good at solving problems. They can interpret problems however they want e.g at home, at work, practical, mathematical etc.

2.  Elicit some examples and reasons from people who said yes.

3.  Show them this screenshot and present them with the problem: they have to get the peanut out of the long test tube without using any tools, turning it upside-down or breaking it. Tell them that the test tube is attached to the base and the base is attached to the table. Give them three minutes to come up with suggestions while you circulate and help with vocabulary.

4.  Elicit suggestions from the groups.

5.  Play this video so that they can compare their suggestions with the solution.

6.  Now tell them that they’re going to have a small creativity competition. Display these pictures of fruit and elicit the name of each one.

7.  Divide the class into two halves, A and B, and then subdivide each half into smaller groups of three or four. Group A gets kiwi, mango and watermelon and group B gets pomegranate, orange and strawberry.

8.  Tell them that they have to describe the best way to eat the fruit with minimum waste and maximum ease. They can use tools. Let them use mobiles or dictionaries to look up vocabulary while you circulate helping them to express what they want to say.

9.  Now have all the A groups compare their suggestions with each other on one side of the room while all the B groups do the same on the other side.

10.  Put individual As and Bs together in pairs and ask them to explain the techniques for their three fruits to each other.

11.  Now play this video. Did anyone come up with something similar? Which one surprised them the most?

12. As a follow-up, tell them to eat one of the six types of fruit using the method suggested and either video or photograph the result to show in the following class.


Introducing Carrot

Image made using photos taken from by @thornburyscott, @ALiCe__M and @purple_steph used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

Image made using photos taken from by @purple_steph, @ALiCe_M, @thornburyscott and @thornburyscott used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

MAIN AIMS Speaking to negotiate and persuade, vocabulary expansion, listening for detail

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Upper-intermediate (B2), except the last step, Advanced (C1).

TEACHER’S NOTES  (Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes)

1. Ask your students to form four small groups (or eight for a larger class).

2. Show them the mosaic above (or use this one). Tell them to use their mobiles to find out the names of the fruit and vegetables shown (from top left to bottom right: red cabbage, Brussels sprout, quince, artichoke).

3. Ask them to tell each other whether they they like these foods and how often they eat them.

4. Assign one of the photos to each group. Tell them that they work for an advertising agency which has been given the job of marketing these unglamorous products to teenagers. They have to come up with an idea for a one-minute commercial that will change the way the target market sees their fruit or vegetable. Set a time limit of ten minutes.

5. Each team presents their idea to the rest of the class, who then vote for the one they like best.

6. Now tell students that they are going to see a video promoting another common vegetable.

7. Play the video. After watching, in their groups students note down all the words they heard that they would normally associate with a touchscreen device.

8. Display this word cloud containing vocabulary from the clip and tell students to look up any new words.

9. Form new groups and play the video again. With their new partners, they have to use the vocabulary from the word cloud to describe the features of “carrot”.

10. Display or hand out the full text so learners can compare what they said with the original version.

11. They will probably ask about the reference to integration with Beats by Dre. Play the video again from 00:38 to 00:40 and pause it. Explain that Beats by Dre is a company that produces audio equipment, mainly headphones and speakers., which was acquired by Apple in 2014. Tell students to look at the image on the screen. Does anyone know the name of the brownish vegetable? It’s a beet (in American English) or beetroot (in British English).

12. Students look at the word cloud again. Do they know any other meanings of the words? Once they’ve had a chance to discuss / check in dictionaries, ask them to do this exercise. (Here are the answers.)