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.

 


Beef Wellington

This lesson is based on a clip from the Gordon Ramsay TV show The F Word.

About a year ago, Jamie Keddie of the excellent Lessonstream pointed me in the direction of this clip when he was writing for the TeachingEnglish website. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to use it in class; it just seemed made for exploiting in the ELT classroom. Have a look and see if you agree.

Since this programme was broadcast, Gordon Ramsay has updated the Beef Wellington recipe for Christmas. For homework, ask students to watch and note down the differences between the original and the Christmas version, and make one of them themselves. And that’s all from us for 2011. Enjoy the holidays and check back in the new year for the next update.

Beef Wellington Teacher’s Notes


Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want

I came across this and was spellbound by the beautiful music, the wonderful little boy and the unexpected ending. It also fit the bill perfectly for a jigsaw-style video activity I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. It’s taken a good hour-and-a-half with every class we’ve tried it out on but they’ve all said the time flew. And they were desperate to see the ending! Try it out and see what you think, but first, watch it yourself!

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want Teacher’s Notes

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want Student Worksheet

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want Webquest

 


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