What do rising sea levels have to do with gin & tonics?


You will watch a video for specific information and learn vocabulary on the topic of sea levels and climate change.


  1. Imagine you have a cool drink with ice. What happens to the drink as the ice melts – does it go up, go down or stay the same?
  2. Does the same thing happen if the ice in the ocean melts?

While you watch

Watch the video. Do the results of the experiment match what you thought? Do they match what the man in the pub said?

Continue reading “What do rising sea levels have to do with gin & tonics?”

The diet that helps fight climate change (level B2+)


You will look at a graph to check information, watch a video for specific information and learn vocabulary on the topic of food and climate change.


They say the best way to save the planet is to change how we eat. What do  you think the following are true or false?

  1. Eating beef has a bigger impact than eating vegetables.
  2. Eating farmed fish has a bigger impact than eating beef.
  3. Farming chickens causes is a bigger cause of climate change than farming cows.

Now look at the graph to check. The answers are also in the key at the bottom of the page.

Continue reading “The diet that helps fight climate change (level B2+)”

I Like Clean Air

This lesson plan is based on the excellent campaign ‘I Like Clean Air’ in which London parents and kids  fight pollution. Students discuss air pollution, listen to a fantastic song created for the campaign, read and analyse a letter by a child requesting a change to improve air quality and learn how to write a letter asking for something to be done about an issue important to them.

clean air

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (A2) upwards

Learner type: Primary and Secondary Young Learners

Time: 90 minutes


  • Language: Learners can differentiate between and use correctly complex and simple expressions for a transactional letter.
  • Skills: Learners write a letter requesting action to improve their cities air quality
  • Content: Learners explore the issue of air quality and become empowered to take action on it.


  • PowerPoint Air Quality Lesson
  • 1 copy of the song lyrics I Like Clean Air for the teacher
  • 1 copy of I Like Clean Air worksheet per student.


  1. Ask students to discuss in groups what they love about their city and what they don’t love about it. Feedback to class and put ideas on the table in the PowerPoint.
  2. Tell learners that students in London produced a song about their city. Students Brainstorm 3 things they might love about London and 3 things they don’t love. Feedback to class and add ideas to the table on slide 2.
  3. Listen to the song. http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/clean-air-song/ What is it about?
  4. Give out the worksheet I Like Clean Air Students read it, predict what the missing words are. They listen to the song again to check.
  5. Students read the letter on the accompanying PowerPoint slide 4 and answer the following: Who is it from? Who is it to? What is it about? What is the format?
  6. Elicit from students what expressions the writer of the letter uses to ask someone to do something. Then go to slide 5 on the PowerPoint and students match up the simple and complex phrases according to function. Elicit the pros of more complex language (more precise meaning) and the cons (can be less clear).
  7. Ask what air quality issues there are in the students’ town or city. Who could they contact to do something about it? Complete the table on slide 6 and add ideas.
  8. Students write a letter to a person of their choice on an air quality issue of their choice. This can be displayed on the classroom walls for the other students to read and then hand in.

Downloadable materials:

lesson plan Air quality Lesson Plan

PowerPoint Air Quality lesson

Thank you to Shazia from I Like Clean Air for permission to use the materials on http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/

World Religions on Climate Change

How does religion view climate change? In this lesson based on a jigsaw reading, p_religion_world_violetlearners investigate what three of the world’s religions say about it. How will there view be different from that of the science academies? Prepare to be surprised when you find out. Students will also learn high level vocabulary on the topic and do a role-play. For C1 level and above.

Check out the lesson plan world-religions-on-climate-change

Download the PowerPoint slides world-religions-on-climate-change

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.


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

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: