A designer lessons ESL lesson plan developed by George Chilton

This is a simple video, comprehension and discussion related to giving up money – aimed at intermediate adults and teens. I’ve kept this one free of too many ideas because I’d really like to see what you do with it – in what direction you took the discussion, and also how your students reacted to Daniel Suelo’s philosophy. Here is Suelo’s blog – if you’d like extra authentic material.

Lesson Aims

  • Listening comprehension
  • 2nd conditional
  • Discussion

Stage OneWarmer

Ask your students how they would spend a day in their city/town/village without spending any money. What activities could they do? They’re not allowed to stay at home, they have to be out of the house for the whole day.

Put them in small groups and get them to come up with a plan of the day – from 10am until 8pm. Conditions – They are allowed to drink water from city water fountains and any food that they find. They should present their plans at the end of this activity – making sure that everyone in the group gets a chance to speak.

Monitor and get feedback from the class – and do an error correction slot (EC) at the end.

Stage Two Video / listening comprehension.

I’d recommend using http://zamzar.com to download the video from Youtube pre-class.

Give them the comprehension questions below – and play the video twice. Ask them to do the activity individually. Follow up by getting them to compare answers in their groups. Do an EC slot.

If the video disappears, you can find it at source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17762033


1. When did Daniel give up money?

2. Finish the sentence; “Money is an _____________.”

3. How much money did he leave in the phone booth?

4. What did his friend think of his decision?

5. How did 2008 change the narrator’s perspective?

6. What did Daniel choose to live in?

7. Name his food sources:

8. My philosophy is to use only what is freely ___________ and discarded and what is already ____________ and already ___________.

9. What does he will think will happen to money in the future?

10. We can cultivate freely giving and freely receiving, ______________ _______________ what station of life we’re in, that’s our true ______________ and it ___________ in everybody.

Key: 1. The year 2000 2. Illusion 3. $30 4. He was crazy 5. The Economic crisis and devaluation of property made him consider Daniel’s ideas hat money was just an illusion. 6. A cave 7. Discarded, expired food, wild onions, road kill, gifts. 8. given, present, running 9. It will become obsolete 10. no, matter, nature, exists

Stage Four – Discussion

Put your students in small groups of 3 -4. Ask them to discuss the following questions. Monitor, do on the spot corrections. Take notes of errors to help them as a whole group in a final EC slot.

  1. Could you live a complete and happy life without money?
  2. Where would you live?
  3. What would you miss the most?
  4. Imagine the scenario – how would a whole society survive without money?

If you want to, give them the 2nd conditional structure – if they need to practise.

If + past simple + subject + would / could +clause


Ask your students to research Daniel Suelo on the net – there are plenty of YouTube videos. They could also have a look at hs blog. Get them to report back their findings in the beginning of the next class.

Questions for you

How would you extend this lesson?

What did your students think?

Creative Commons Licence
Designer Lessons by George Chilton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.