Here’s a lesson I’ve done using a Funny Or Die video about how phones are making us less romantic and motivated. I decided to use it to both give my students extra practice at listening, as well as to revise the Present Continuous. For my fellow teachers, I’ll share how you can use this video in your lesson.
As with most of the authentic content, there are some things to keep in mind if you decide to use this video:
1. In the beginning of the video, Josh starts writing a poem and, if you used this video with Pre-Intermediate students like I have, you may need to tell your students that what he’s writing isn’t important for them.
2. The video features the F-word (Once) and you may have to pre-teach the word “hangover”.
1) To warm students up, ask them about their free time, what they do when they have it, how often they use their phones and if it’s easy for them to stay focused when their phone is online and why/why not. Alternatively, you can print out the questions and ask your students to ask each other these questions and then get feedback from them.
2) Tell your students that they’re going to watch a video. Ask them to find out what the man sent to the girl.
3) Have your students work in pairs and put the events they’ve seen in the video in the right order. When they’re done, have them watch the video again to check their answers.
4) Have your students work out which statements are true and false, compare their answers with their partners and check the answers by watching the video once more.
5) Ask your students:
1) How does the situation in the video make you feel?
2) What do you do when you get too many messages?
3) What emotions do you have when you get too many phone calls and texts?
4) When you text someone, are your texts usually long or short? Why?
6) The next thing I do is transition the second half of the lesson to be devoted to the Present Continuous. Since I teach online, the presentation below has students completing examples of positive, negative sentences and questions, but feel free to do something else to give your student the meaning, form and pronunciation.
7) Next, have your students complete some sentences using the Present Simple or Present Continuous and get feedback from them.
8) To keep things related to the video they’ve seen, tell your students that a few days later, Liz called Josh and he invited her for dinner. Have your students complete the dialogue they had using the proper tense and then have them take turns playing the roles of Liz and Josh to practice their pronunciation.
9) As a final activity, ask your students if they remember how Josh met Liz. Tell your students that they will work in pairs to play the roles of Josh and Liz at the bar. Students who will be Josh will have a handout with some questions he could ask Liz and Liz will answer these questions. Students can take roles getting to know each other and add their own questions to make the meeting more interesting.
10) To follow up, ask the students how their evening was, if they liked Josh and if Josh got Liz’s phone number and do an error correction based on what the students have said during the final activity.
I hope you like this lesson, if you’ve got some ideas you think would work better or some suggestions you’d like to offer to make it even more memorable and useful to the students, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section. 🙂