by *n3wjack via Flickr

A designer Lessons ESL lesson plan developed by George Chilton

Cover Image: Hawken King – Flickr

Lesson: A full English Breakfast

Level: Pre-intermediate – Intermediate, Teens and adults

Aim: Describing food, discussion,

Grammar: Superlatives

Materials: Video – and photographs (below)

This lesson is designed to help your students describe food, build vocabulary and, if you want, also discuss issues relating to health, portion size and obesity. It’s more for teenagers, but you could adapt it and use it with adult classes. The optional video comprehension activity introduces the idea of huge food portions. It could also be a jumping off point to talk about fast food and ill-health.

You may need to pre-teach items of food, depending on the level of your students.

Stage One

Start listing food –

  • Waffles
  • Toast
  • Eggs/omelette
  • Bacon
  • Coffee

Ask the question – What do these foods make together?

A: The typical (North) American breakfast.

Then mindmap some adjectives to describe food. Put these up on the board

sweet, sour, tasty, salty, bitter, spicy, bland, etc. 

Note that students may well need examples for these adjectives  – lemons are sour, fish can be salty, etc.

Now ask your students to describe the typical breakfast in their country/ies. If the students are more or less from the same place, get them to help you list the constituents on the board. If they are from mixed backgrounds – put them in groups of three and ask them to tell each other what they eat. They should use adjectives to describe the taste, if possible.

Stage Two

Show the photographs (below) of these international breakfasts, obviously add your own, or choose different images if you’d prefer. See if students can guess which countries they are from.

Then get students to name the food they can see in each breakfast.

You can take an opportunity to practise superlatives:

Write the following structure on the board:

Which is the _______________ breakfast?

Below list:

  • Healthy
  • Tasty
  • Unhealthy
  • Strange
  • Fatty

…And any more adjectives your students can think of to describe food. Have the class fill in the blank with the superlative form of the adjective – and then ask them to vote on the pictures.

Which is the healthiest breakfast, the tastiest breakfast, the breakfast they would least like to try, etc.

All images via Wikipedia

“Kao hnyin baung” Cooked glutinous rice with fried fish on a banana leaf – from Myanmar

Naan bread with mutton soup – also from Myanmar

Scrambled eggs, hash browns (fried potato), fried tomato, baked beans, black pudding, sausage, mushrooms and bacon – Full English Breakfast

Breakfast of grilled salmon miso soup and rice – Japan

Stage Three

Now you might, at this point, still be wondering why I’ve included that rather gross cover picture by *n3wjack from Flickr. This section of the class is aimed at provoking discussion relating to obesity and eating habits around the world. If you’re worried about students’ views of body image, or you feel it is unsuitable for your class for some reason, skip it and move straight to the follow-up  at the end of the lesson.

Play the video, found on the BBC website:

Write the following words on the board,  they should put them in the correct order while watching the video for the first time:
  • Overabundance
  • Big is best
  • Value is more
  • Britain’s Biggest breakfast
 Ask the following questions – give guidance as to vocabulary, if the students are unsure. and play the video again:
  1. What is the name of this breakfast?
  2. Why is it named this?
  3. How much does the breakfast weigh exactly?
  4. Can name the items in the breakfast?
  5. If he eats it in an hour, what happens?
  6. How many do they usually sell?
  7. What was the attitude of the journalist?
  1. The (Jester Challenge) Kids’ breakfast.
  2. Because it weighs the same as a small child
  3. Nine-and-a-half pounds
  4. Eight egg, cheese and potato omelette, twelve [pieces of] bacon, twelve sausages , sautéed potatoes, mushrooms, black-pudding mushrooms, four [slices of] fried bread
  5. It is free.
  6. Two a day
  7. It’s too much!

Then ask the following discussion questions. Ask them to discuss in groups and feedback to you as a class later.

    • Is obesity a problem or a growing problem in their country?
    • What might be the reasons behind this?
    • Is fast or super-sized food readily available in their country?

A Tasty Follow-up

Ask your students to design a new national breakfast for the country you’re teaching in. It must represent the country, but also be healthy. You can the bring the class full-circle and vote on the best new breakfast. If you’re brave, and don’t think your students want to poison you, you can suggest that the students bring in their own food to taste next lesson.

P.S Feel free to correct me if I have the breakfasts wrong.

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