A designer Lessons ESL lesson plan developed by Gemma Lunn

I’m very pleased to be giving you our first posting this month and it comes all the way from Gemma Lunn in South Korea. I used to work with Gemma here in Barcelona, but she has since moved all over the place – Manchester, UK all the way to Busan, Korea – where she seems to be having a great time. She does, however, mention that she doesn’t like 김치 (Kimchi) – which is just wrong because Kimchi is awesome, and – as every Korean will probably tell you – very healthy, like 소주 (soju). It makes me wonder how she’s really surviving out there; Kimchi comes with everything in Korea.

You can find Gemma on her own blog – Gemma Lunn

Lesson: Wear Sunscreen – Advice lesson. 

Level: Intermediate – advanced

Age group: Teens and adults.

Skills focus: Giving advice

Time: 60-90 minutes

Stage 1 – Warmer

Introduce today’s topic of advice.

Students (Ss) discuss the following questions:

  • What good advice have you been given recently and by whom?
  • Who gives you the best advice?
  • Whose advice do you usually ignore? Why?

Stage 2 –Video & Discussion

Tell Ss they will watch a video which gives a lot of good advice, ask them to listen and try to remember some of the advice.

Ask Ss what advice they heard.

To groups of 3-4 Ss hand out slips with advice from the video on (I didn’t include every piece of advice as there’s quite a lot, you could even leave out more if your Ss are a lower level)

Wear sunscreen.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.

Don’t worry about the future.

Do one thing every day that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults.

Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it.

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.


Respect your elders.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it.

Ss read the slips. Here you can let Ss discuss the advice and also help them with any new vocabulary.

In groups of 3-4 Ss put the advice in order whilst watching the video again.

Check the order and then at this point you can further discuss the advice if your Ss wish.

In their groups ask Ss to discuss and order the advice in terms of what they think is the best.  For lower levels you may want to provide some target language and collocations such as:

Piece of advice.

Useful advice.

I think this piece of advice is useful because ___________

In my opinion this piece of advice is better than this one because ____________

Stage 4 – Follow up activities:

You can then choose one or more of the following activities depending on the level / age of your Ss:

Tell Ss some advice you would give your 16-year-old self if you could go back in time.  Then ask Ss to discuss what advice they would give themselves if they could go back 5-10 years (vary this depending on the age of your Ss).

Ask Ss what they think their 30-year-old self (again change the age depending on Ss) would give them now.  This can either be done as a free discussion or Ss can write notes first or this could even be a writing activity in the form of a letter.

(You can make the lesson more grammar-focused here if you wish by revising and asking Ss to use the should form)

For teens a nice way to end the lesson is to put them into small groups and get them to make a poster with the best advice from the lesson on.

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