Eco Prize-winners

Albena Simeonova and Ruth Buendía both won a prestigious prize for their dedicated work against all odds protecting the environment and the people living in it from ruthless exploitation. In this jigsaw reading lesson we honour their achievements, discover how ordinary people achieve great things and focus on environment-themed vocabulary and talk about people we admire. This lesson can be used with B1 and above, adults and teenagers.

Download the lesson plan: Eco prize-winnersnuke power station

Volkswagen Emissions Test Scandal

Air pollution is a serious problem. And now we find that car-makers are cheating in their vehicle emissions tests. Outrageous? Yes! Here is a lesson plan dealing with this topic that practices third and mixed conditionals.



Here is a link to the video


Ordinary People who do Extraordinary Things

Prize-Winners 2014

Here is a lesson plan based on ordinary people who have done extraordinary things for the world we live in. It’s based on a jigsaw listening, and is suitable for teenagers and adults from B1/intermediate upwards. It is an updated revision of my previous lesson plan ‘Prizewinners’, which proved very popular.

Download the lesson plan:

 images         Prize-Winners 2014

Plastic Bags. To Ban or not to Ban

They make a mess in both town and country. Have you ever been to a beautiful place and seen rubbish everywhere? On the other hand, are they the biggest problem the environment faces? They don’t pollute the air or damage our lungs like car exhaust fumes, we can re-use them and recycle them. Whatever the truth, many places restrict their sale. This lesson is a role play debate. Should we ban their sale or not? Practice language for agreeing and disagreeing, and reaching consensus. For B1 level upwards.

Lesson plan:  plastic-bag-role-play

saturday no plastic bag

Writing a letter of complaint

anti chevron

All too often, course books make students write a letter of complaint using the same old contexts every time. An unsatisfactory hotel room, a faulty product or bad service in a restaurant. This time let’s breathe some fresh air into this genre of writing. And do some good for the world we live in at the same time!

Download the lesson plan: A letter of complaint

Reading Skills: Rewild the Child

Ideal for exam classes and teacher-training. This lesson practices skills common in exams like FCE, IELTs, and  Aptis; deducing meaning from context, and choosing the best heading for each paragraph.

Based around George Monbiot’s article ‘Rewild the Child’, which argues for a radical rethink in how we educate children by getting them out of the classroom and taking them outdoors.

The lesson consists of a lesson plan, the text, and a PowerPoint presentation.


Lesson plan: Rewild the child

PowerPoint: Rewild the childPhilip and white bird

Detox Fashion

detox fashionThey say you can tell next season’s hottest trend by looking at the colour of the rivers in Mexico and China. That’s because global fashion brands like Calvin Klein and GAP are using hazardous chemicals and dyes to make our clothes.

In this lesson students watch a fantastic mock anime film trailer in which our superheros expose the dark side of fashion. They also see how a  ‘people-powered’ campaign set up by Greenpeace is changing the fashion industry for the better.

Students also learn vocabulary for clothes and use the present continuous to describe what someone is wearing.

A lesson aimed at teenage learners. B1/intermediate level upwards.

The lesson plan: Detox Fashion is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation: Detox Fashion.

The E-Bike

The E-bike

A lesson plan based on a more eco-friendly and city-friendly alternative to the car: the electric bike. While looking at this exciting development, students focus on indirect questions, and do a fact-finding mingle.



Take action!

Take Action!

In this lesson we are encouraged to take action over an important issue; the threat of oil companies like Shell moving into the Arctic to drill for oil with potentially devastating consequences.

The outcome of the lesson is students write a short text persuading people to take action on the course of their choosing. They use language for persuasion which is the language focus of this lesson. Suitable for B1 level and above, teenagers or adults.

A radical, unapologetic eco-lesson, encouraging active citizenship. Use it at an in-company class with the oil industry at your discretion!

Click link for lesson plan document: Taking action over an important issue


It’s got to be one of the best infrastructure developments in cities. Turn up, pay for a bike, ride it to the next drop off point and your there! In terms of reducing pollution, getting fit, and making cities more pleasant places to live, it’s a win win win situation! So next time you do a lesson on travel, or city life, why not try this lesson. And tell me how it goes, I’d love feedback. Did you find the materials user-friendly, did the students find it interesting? Any suggestions? Here is the lesson:

bike sharing



This lesson is based around a jig-saw reading and looks at winners of this years Goldman prize, which honours ordinary people who have done extraordinary actions to protect nature, the environment and the human communities that live in them.

Download the lesson plan: an-eco-prize

School Environment Audit

In this lesson for young learners, the class make an environmental audit for the school. Children are always being told what to do by adults, and this gives them the chance to judge how well adults and their school are doing, and make recommendations for them. This lesson is suitable for young learners from 7 to 13 years old, from A2 level upwards.

Lesson plan: school environment audit

Creating energy sustainably

Here is a jigsaw reading on the topic of interesting ways to generate energy, whether it is to power a ship or a disco or charge up your mobile phone!

This lesson plan can be used with B1 level students and above, and the video of the disco that generates electricity from people dancing is a great way to show that sustainable living is FUN!

creating energy sustainably

Climate Change Overview

Climate Change

It’s a complex and politically controversial topic, and one people might shy away from dealing with in class. This lesson simplifies the basic science in a lesson rich in the language items around the topic of climate change.

Follow the link to download the lesson plan from the British Council’s teachingenglish website: