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.

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

Bike-sharing

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

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:

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/lesson-plans/climate-change-overview

Cycling

Cycling is fun, though so many of us forget once we reach adulthood. It is also an excellent form of urban transport. Quick, sociable, healthy. What’s more, it is much better for the environment than almost all the competition.

Here is a lesson of mine on the topic of cycling. Click the link to be redirected to its location on the British Council’s teachingenglish website:

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/lesson-plans/cycling

Image

Eco Achievers

It’s great to hear about people who have done great things. All to often high achievers in language course-books are the same business people, sports personalities and pop stars. Here is a lesson about high achievers in another field, conservation.

I worked in Morocco and Bulgaria, and tried to localise the topic. Try to find out about someone in your country and include them as it is more relevant to students if the topic is localised.

eco achievers

Eco-tourism: travel by train

Did you know that taking the train instead of flying is much more environmentally friendly? Travelling by Eurostar creates ten times less carbon emissions that flying the same route! Not to mention it’s more fun and you get to see more – it’s the journey, not just the destination, after all!

Language teaching course-books rarely focus on this great way of travelling, but here is an internet lesson lesson that does just that.

seat 61 webquest

This lesson does require access to computers connected to the internet.