Excitable Edgar


Here’s a lesson plan based on this year’s John Lewis advert. Happy Christmas!

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes and here for the PowerPoint.



A Very Merry Mistake

Main activities speaking, vocabulary, pronunciation

Suitable for teens and adults, pre-advanced (B2.2) and above

Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes.

Click here for the Powerpoint.


A Christmas lesson plan

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 23.24.53

Main activities speaking, speculating and storytelling

Suitable for teens and adults, upper-intermediate (B2) and above

A Christmas lesson plan Teacher’s Notes


The Teacher’s Notes contain everything you need for class, but if you’d rather display the images using Powerpoint, click here.



Buster the Boxer – a Christmas lesson plan


Every December we produce a lesson plan based on the John Lewis Christmas advert and this year’s offering features a dog called Buster, a trampoline and an assortment of wild animals. The lesson is suitable for teens and adults, upper-intermediate (B2) and above, and includes speculation, observation and vocabulary to describe sounds.

Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes.

The pdf contains everything you need for class, but if you’d rather display the images using Powerpoint, click here.




The Man on the Moon

Full Moon for all Moods by Konstantinos Kazantzoglou

Full Moon for all Moods by Konstantinos Kazantoglou is licensed under CCBY2.0


MAIN ACTIVITIES describing and comparing photographs, storytelling and discussion.

SUITABLE FOR teens and adults, upper-intermediate (B2) and above

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

Foot Talc – a Christmas lesson plan

Christmas present

Every year we like to produce one or two Christmas posts based on a seasonal advert and our first one for this year stars a famous Hollywood actor trying to solve a classic Christmas problem.

MAIN ACTIVITIES predicting/ listening for specific information/ talking about Christmas / using vocabulary featured in the text

SUITABLE FOR teens and adults, upper-intermediate (B2) and above

Click here for the Teacher’s Notes.

Click here for the PowerPoint presentation.


Monty the Penguin – a Christmas lesson plan

MAIN AIMS Talking about the past and present, storytelling, vocabulary acquisition

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Intermediate (B1) and above

This lesson plan is inspired by Jamie Keddie’s videotelling idea.

Click here for a pdf of the Teacher’s Notes.




Video 1

Video 2

If you want lesson plans based on John Lewis adverts from other years, check these out:

The Hare and the Bear (2013)

The Snowmen (2012)

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (2011)


The Christmas Truce

MAIN AIMS Agreeing,disagreeing and making suggestions (FCE and CAE speaking exam practice)

SUITABLE FOR Teens and adults, Upper-intermediate (B2.1) and above

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

1.  Tell students that you’re going to play a piece of music and that they should close their eyes and relax. Play the video below (sound only, blank screen). Afterwards, they tell a partner how it made them feel and what images (if any) went through their minds.

2. Tell them to imagine that this piece of music is going to be used in a film soundtrack and they’re going to discuss how to use it in different kinds of films.

3. Put them in groups of three and display this question for them talk about.

4. Stop them after a few minutes and tell them they have one minute to decide which kind of film this music would go best with. Open class feedback.

5. Display or hand out these expressions. Ask them how often they used one (or something similar) during their conversation. Tell them what you noticed as you were going round. Say that in the next conversation, they must use these expressions.

6. Now they imagine that this music is going to be used in an advertisement. Display this question for them to discuss.

7. Stop them and tell them they have one minute to decide which product the music would be best used to advertise.

8. Open class feedback

9. Say that this music is used in a British TV advert and show them this screenshot. Establish that it’s World War One and the British and Germans have called a truce. Does anyone know when and why? Play this video from 01:50 to 02:41 so that students can see what happened.

10. We haven’t seen the product yet. Get students to work in groups to think of an ending where the product being advertised is revealed.

11. Find out what they decided and then play the whole advert. Afterwards, explain that Sainsbury’s is a supermarket. It works with the charity The Royal British Legion, which provides assistance to members and veterans of the armed forces. The chocolate bar that appeared in the advert was specially created to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

12. Say that the advert has been both praised and criticised in Britain and display these two opinions. If students agree that it’s a heartwarming advertisement, they should stand near the screen. If they think it’s cynical and tasteless, they should stand on the opposite side of the room. If their opinion is somewhere between the two, they should stand somewhere that reflects this i.e. nearer the front for the first one etc.

13. Put students in pairs or groups of three or four with differing opinions and get them to convince their partners that their opinion is the right one. Finish off by finding out if anybody changed their point of view.

14. As a follow-up, tell students to find out the name of a film the music from the advert has been used in, and send them this link to read more about the Christmas Truce.

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.

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 10.48.38

The Snowmen

snow mosaic 1

Image made using photos taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/eltpics by @nutrich, @cgoodey, @thornburyscott, @steve_muir, @evaguti and @leoselivan used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

This time last year John Lewis released a sentimental advert featuring a boy who can’t wait to give his parents the perfect Christmas present, and we based a lesson plan on it. This year’s version is in a similar vein. Featuring a love-struck snowman, the ad contrasts nicely with the more irreverent take on the traditional Christmas commercial from the makers of  the infamous Scottish soft drink, Irn Bru, which we’ve also included in this activity.

Click here to find out what we did with it.