Category Archives: Lesson Plan: Intermediate

Today is on me- Let’s Go to a Musical Show !

Who doesn’t like music? Today I am inviting you to take a glimpse at the Top Ten Musicals in London. Tough  job to choose one ! A video-based lesson you’ll positively enjoy!

Level: B1/B2

Skills :listening, writing and vocabulary

Step 1. WARM UP. In pairs, talk about the questions below

♥How important is  music in your life?

♥Have you ever been to a musical show? Why(not)?

♥Do you know  any famous musicals?

♥There are lots of things to do in London, would you consider going to a musical?


Step 2. Look at the following collage containing pictures of different musicals. In pairs, can you identify any?

Get feedback. Most possibly students won’t be able to come up with the names for all the musicals. If this is the case, show them the options below.

A. The Lion King

B. The Phantom of the Opera

C. Wicked

D. Mamma Mia

E. Thriller

F. Billy Elliot

G. Les Miserables

H. The Book of Mormon

I. The Commitments

J. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Step 3. Play the video  for the first time without giving students any task.After watching it , ask them whether they  would fancy watching any of these musicals. Students watch the video a second time  and fill in the gaps in the exercise below


Number 10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Grab your won golden ticket and step inside the ____ (1) and wonderful Wonka Chocolate factory

Number 9. The Commitments.Originally a novel, then a hit movie, this musical is jam ____ (2) with classic soul hits

Number 8. The Book of Mormon.From the ____  (3)of South Park, this outrageously funny musical is not for the faint -hearted

Number 7. Les Miserables.An epic tale of broken dreams, passion, ____ (4) and redemption

Number 6. Billy Elliot.The ____ (5) story of a boy’s struggle against the odds  to become a ballet star

 Number 5. Thriller Live.The spectacular show takes you on an electrifying journey through Michael Jackson’s musical ____ (6).

 Number 4.Mamma Mia. Abba’s  timeless songs create the ultimate feel-good tale of love , laughter and ____ (7)

 Number 3. Wicked.The untold story of the witches of Oz has won 90 international awards and is loved by ____ (8) and critics.

 Number 2.The Phantom of the Opera.Andrew Lloyd Webber’s  musical ____ (9) continues to captivate audiences

 Number 1. The Lion King.Set in the Serengeti, this epic show explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and  ____ (10) music

 Step 4. Vocabulary. Find a synonym for the following words in the video








 Step 5. Writing . You’ve been asked to create a poster to advertise your high school end-of-the-term musical.Use to create the poster and think of something to say about the musical to attract an audience . Use some of the adjective+noun combinatios below

Mapa Mental creado con ExamTime por cristina.cabal


Lesson Plan: Dating , Family and Friends

Level: Intermediate
Topic: Dating, Family and Friends
Aim: To develop all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking .

Has our lifestyle changed so much that it has affected the way we socialise, date and  communicate with our family? Here is a nice visual lesson plan to talk about these issues TASK 1 Look at the picture below. Which of these adjectives would you use to describe the picture? Give reasons

Awesome   disgusting   funny   unreal   pornographic  sexist

romantic   interesting     unusual      provocative     depressing

Can you think of any more adjectives?

Task 2.  Introducing &Revising Vocabulary :   Dictogloss.

(Dictogloss technique here )

As I normally have large classes I have written two texts containing the target language so I will divide the class into two groups and I’ll dictate the texts in turns, following the dictogloss technique. Texts will be then written on the board or /and a copy of the texts handed out.

Vocabulary Handout 


Has traditional dating become a thing of the past? Look at the pictures below showing different ways of dating. In pairs, discuss which ones you prefer, which ones you wouldn’t mind trying and which ones you would never try, giving reasons to support your opinion.

TASK 4. LISTENING: What makes for a good friend.  See on youtube

Time to improve your listening abilities. This time we are going to listen for specific vocabulary. Ready?

Listen to a man talking about  What Makes a Good Friend and fill in the spaces in the exercise embedded below.




TASK 5 . SPEAKING: A CLOSE FRIEND. Think of one of your close friends. In pairs, ask and answer these questions

  • How long have you known him?
  • Where did you meet?
  • Do you get on well? What do you have in common?
  • Do you ever argue? What about?
  • How often do you see each other?
  • How do you keep in touch? Have you ever lost touch? Why?


Students sit facing each other using the speed-dating technique. Some students remain seated during the whole event ( in real speed dating, women remain seated). When the bell rings, students sit across from another student and they use their questions to start a conversation. They need to keep on talking for 3 minutes. Then a bell rings and “men” need to stand up and move to their right to start a new conversation with a different partner and the whole process is repeated again. Instead of a  bell so I use a Class Timer (here).

Display with the OHP, on the whiteboard, the pictures with the questions and ask students to talk about the question on the picture for about three minutes. When the time’s up,  students change partners and a new picture is displayed.

I have created this slideshow with Google Sites.


TASK  5 Writing. Choose any of the questions in the exercise above and write an essay making sure you use the vocabulary you have learnt in this lesson. Do you need some inspiration? See what other students have written  hereherehere and here

I hope you’ve enjoyed the lesson!!

Some Activities to Talk Nonstop Using Comparatives and Superlatives

It is still raining   .

It is raining again today. Of course it is raining. This is Asturias and we don’t get to be the dear, green place – Asturias “natural paradise”- without more than our  fair share of rain, but  I’m  beginning to get a bit sick with so much rain. I need the sun, or rather my mood needs the warm, delicious rays of the spring sun.

In class today, we need to deal with comparatives and superlatives.
This is the intermediate level so I don’t think, or perphaps it’s hopeful thinking, my students will need me to go over the rules for the formation of the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs. Anyway, this is the easiest part; there are loads of sites on the internet with exercises to practise grammar.

I want this class to be highly communicative. I want my students to leave the class telling each other. OMG ! I’ve lost my voice! I want them to leave my class sounding funny, hoarse even.

With these activities we’ll compare

  • adjectives (taller than) , Grammar here
  • nouns ( more people than,fewer rooms than, less pollution than)  Grammar here
  • adverbs ( more quickly than) Grammar here
  • superlative of the adjectives. Grammar here

So, without further ado, let’s get down to some serious speaking

♥Activity One: The place where you live

I started this post talking about the weather in Asturias. I am pretty sure my students would share my feeling about so much rain. So, after sort of complaining about so many rainy days, I am going to ask them to compare living in Asturias (north of Spain) with living in Andalucia (south of Spain). I’ll lead this activity with students contributing with their ideas and this will help me correct what I hope will be little mistakes.

Activity 2 Look Around You Competition

Students in groups of three or four compare students in the classroom. Set a time limit of about 5 minutes for students to talk  and on your signal each group of students should write as many comparative and superlative sentences as they can about the people in their classroom. At the end of the time period, have one group share their sentences. If another group has the same sentence as the first group, both groups should cross that statement off their list. Continue until all groups have read all of their statements and any duplicates are eliminated. The group with the most statements remaining wins. I owe this activity to Susan Verner.

Activity 3. Using Pictures to Compare


Activity 4. Superlative Superlatives

Get students in pairs or threes and ask them to discus the following questions . Click here to get the pdf

Lesson Plan : Talking about Mobiles and Technology

Level : B1-B2

In this lesson we talk about mobiles and the Internet, about the use or overuse of this new technology in our lives. The lesson aims at developing their listening and speaking skills and also provides them with the vocabulary and expressions needed to talk about this increasing and, in some cases, worrying phenomenon. This Lesson Plan has two parts. In the first half of the lesson students are presented with two food- for- thought videos related  to the use or overuse of mobiles phones. In the second half students are asked to talk about their own experiences using mobiles and the Internet.

PDF here

PART  1.

Warm up: Do a quick survey to find how many students are carrying their mobile phones. Ask how many have them on their desks.

Video 1. I forgot my phone. (Lasts 2:10) Explain they are going to watch a video and after it, they’ll have to discuss in pairs their feelings and reactions to what they have seen. Get feedback. Follow-up questions: Are mobiles killing conversation? Are they replacing face-face communication?

Video 2Nomophobia. (lasts 1:00) Ask students if they have ever heard the term nomophobia. Ask them to predict what kind of phobia  it might refer to. Before playing the video pre-teach “feature phone” (a low-end mobile phone with limited capabilities). Play the video and ask students to make a summary of what it says and encourage students to discuss the question posed in the video:  What would you do a week if you didn’t have access to your mobile phone?


Working on Vocabulary. Introduce vocabulary by displaying the word cloud and ask students to make sentences with the words displayed. For a more interactive approach, we might want to ask students to first work in pairs  asking them to choose words from the word cloud to make sentences. Get feedback to solve doubts

Discussion Questions. Handout photocopy with the questions to be discussed. There are quite a number of questions on the hand-out. I’d suggest doing the first part, which is more mobile oriented, on the first session and the second part, which is more computer oriented, on the second session.  Hand-out here

Moving Up from ” I Made Tea” to” I made myself a nice, hot sandwich of low-fat blue cheese because I was starving”


Improving Writing Skills:  how to move up from the Elementary to the Intermediate Level using Adjectives.

If you are a teacher you would agree with me that helping students move from an Elementary Level to an Intermediate one takes time and practice. One does not acquire the level in one day, you need to go step by step and you’ll need to climb all the stairs to be successful, there is no lift here.

When I mark their compositions some students find it difficult to understand why a composition with almost no mistakes deserves a Pass whereas another one with more “red” ink gets a better mark. Although I explain to them that you’re not only marked for grammatical mistakes and they seem to understand I thought it might be a good idea to do an experiment so that they could clearly see my point.

The little experiment was carried out during the last 20 minutes of the lesson after having dedicated most of the lesson to working with adjectives. The aim was letting the student see for themselves the difference, in terms of adequacy, between two or three grammatically correct sentences by voting on the best one. By letting them be the judges of the best sentence, they also become aware of why essays with no mistakes might score significantly higher or lower.

Before starting with the activities dedicated to Adjectives, I told my students that my aim on that day was to improve their writing skills to help them move from an Elementary Level to an Intermediate one. In my opinion, this bit of information before starting is essential to get their full attention!

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Although not all grammarians agree on the order of the adjectives and the rules for adjective order are quite complicated, it is necessary to give them some kind of order they can stick to. I always use this sentence to help them remember

Important points:

1. Don’t overuse adjectives. While having two adjectives before a noun sounds natural, more than three would have the opposite effect.

2. Purpose adjectives go just before the noun: riding boots ( boots for riding), sleeping bags (bags for sleeping).

3. Numbers go before adjectives: three huge houses.


Isn’t it true that  when you cross out things like very furious, students invariably ask … but, “why can’t you say very furious??”

1. I find it important to see the before and the after. So, prior to beginning with step 1, show them an example of what they normally write, well, a bit exaggerated maybe 🙂 .

Last week I went to a  very big beach. It was very hot and I was very angry because I couldn’t find a place to put my towel as it was very crowded. Finally, I saw one of my best friends and I managed to squeeze in next to her. We went for a walk but after half an hour I was very tired and very hungry so I bought a sandwich, but it tasted very bad. Oh My God !!!

1. Brainstorm extreme adjectives like angry-furious, small-tiny, big-enormous, dirty-filthy, happy-delighted, sure-positive…etc.

2. Point out you cannot use very with these adjectives, but “absolutely” or “really” -among others.

3. Practising intonation with extreme adjectives in dialogues is always an enjoyable activity! Even more fun if you give them the card and get them moving around the class and talking to different people. For this activity, I always use this handout from

4. That might be a good time to display the text above again so that they improve it using extreme adjectives.


Before the game: Write down on slips of papers, verbs that they have recently studied. For this exercise, I chose verbs with dependent prepositions. Put them in a bag or envelope.

Explain that this writing exercise is going to be a competition, where only sentences without grammatical mistakes are going to be shortlisted. These  sentences will be read  aloud and students will vote for the best one taking into account the length of the sentence, the use of adjectives before the noun and also the use of extreme adjectives

1. Students work in pairs competing for points against the other students in the class.

2. From the bag, ask a student -the innocent hand-to pull out a slip of paper containing a verb in the infinitive form.

3. Students have 2 minutes to write a good sentence containing the verb.

4. Quickly correct mistakes and put a tick to the ones being shortlisted.

5. Sentences are read aloud for students to choose the best one, which is awarded one point. The pair with the highest number of points wins.

At some point during the game, I make a point of telling students once again to reflect on why they feel some sentences are intuitively better.

Hope you find it useful!