Success! A lesson plan on how to get there + reported speech. CEFR B1-B2

EDIT 2020: I wrote this blog post in 2017 before JK Rowling’s controversial views on trans people. I must say I’m disappointed and that I send my love to all of those who are offended by her statements. However, I must ask? Would you stop using this lesson plan or include a discussion on transphobia? I’d love to hear your opinions.

To celebrate more than 1000 visitors and almost 2000 views from 90 countries, as well as my blog’s anniversary (1 month already), I’d like to share this lesson about success.

You can also access my whole planning for American English File 2nd Edition here.

Please, share it with as many people as you want, and give me some feedback if you like the lesson (or not). It took me a lot of time to prepare it for you. Also, I’m planning on delivering a webinar in June. Stay tuned for more news about it! I’ll start advertising soon.

Access the slides here

LESSON PLAN 1 – B1 (reported speech/lead-in lesson to new reporting verbs)
Intended Learning Outcome: By the end of the class students should be able to report what other people told them about success.

SLIDE 1: Ss discuss in pairs the question: What leads to success? Allow no more than 3 minutes for discussion.

SLIDE 2: Instruct Ss to write 3 ingredients for success (individually). Have Ss share their recipe with a peer (get them to stand up, walk around, and find someone who has a similar recipe so that they can sit together).

SLIDE 3: Follow instructions on the slide. 

SLIDE 4: Follow instructions on the slide. 

SLIDE 5: Brain break

SLIDE 6: Allow Ss to discuss if age is an important factor for success. Use the headlines as drivers for the discussion.

SLIDE 7: Use Lesson_Success_Celebrity in the Dropbox folder. Cut each celebrity’s slip and give it to a different student. Have them sit together in groups of 4 and tell each other about the celebrities. They cannot read straight from the paper, they must report what they have read. Open up to the whole group and ask them to present about each celebrity shortly. At this point, it is a good idea to repeat what your Ss say using the reported speech without explaining the structure.

SLIDE 8: Begin with the question: “Do you agree that leaders are successful people?” If they do not agree, ask for reasons. Use the vocabulary in the slide to have them discuss the qualities of a leader. Allow some minutes of discussion, and ask a member of each group to report what the group discussed. This is a great moment to spot if they can use reported speech correctly or not. Try to remember the sentences they used.

SLIDE 9: Brain break

SLIDE 10: JK Rowling guessing game. Tell Ss they will have to guess the name of a successful person. The slide has effects to help you present one sentence at a time. If they still don’t know who she is, play the song file attached in the slide or give additional tips. Ask follow-up questions if you like: Has anyone ever read Harry Potter? etc…

SLIDE 11: Play the video and use the JK Rowling Activity you can find in the Dropbox folder.

SLIDE 12: Brain break

SLIDES 13 and 14: Have a short whole-group discussion about some facts concerning JK Rowling. Use SLIDE 14 as a lead-in activity to SLIDE 15 

SLIDE 15: Notice the grammar. 

SLIDES 16-19: Have students work in trios and try to transform the sentences into reported speech. Correct at the end of each slide and explain if necessary.

SLIDE 20: Brain break

SLIDE 21: Check understanding by revising the structure. Correct at the end.

SLIDES 22 and 23: More practice

SLIDES 24 and 25: Grammar rules. Elicit, notice and explain.

SLIDE 26: Get Ss together in groups. One S looks at the board and the others don’t. The S selects one quote and reads it in the reported speech form. The other three Ss try to write it down in the active speech form. Do the same with the other Ss.

SLIDE 27: Brain break

SLIDES 28 and 29: Follow the instructions. For homework, Ss will have to challenge themselves a little. I included some reporting verbs we didn’t use in this lesson (promised, explained, admitted, suggested, etc). Let them try and make mistakes or do a little digging on the internet. You can start the next lesson with those verbs

That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoy this lesson plan and give me some feedback soon.

Reflect on your teaching with this plan. Use the quotes to answer the question:

Am I a successful teacher? What makes me successful? 

You’re welcome to share your thoughts here.

The Perfect Lesson Plan (but not really) – A sample to help you plan your own lessons

Versão em português – LESSON PLAN SAMPLE 1_português

Is there such a thing as the perfect lesson plan? I challenge you to think about that. Have you ever delivered a lesson that felt like you rocked big time?

The way I see it, there are no perfect lesson plans. Some might feel perfect to you or some of your students – but not all of them (lessons and students). That doesn’t mean we can’t strive for “perfection” (or at least excellence) as a goal. Obviously, given the lack of time and resources as well as students’ varying degrees of motivation, interests, and needs, most of the time we need simply get the job done as effectively as we can. That’s exactly why I offer here a template that might be at least very good or better than that

I designed this lesson plan (click here to get it) about a generic topic that can be understood by everyone, and applied by science, biology, geography, methodology, physics, chemistry, and writing teachers. Basically, any teacher can profit from this template and adapt according to their students’ topics and needs. I must say it was fun – and a lot of hard work – trying to plan a lesson about the Scientific Method. Yes, that’s right! That’s what the lesson is about.

Even if science is something you have no interest in, you should take a look and see how each section of my lesson plan flows into the next. I’ve tried to use as much from neuroscience as I could, and I’m happy with the result. Can’t remember the tips I gave you about neuroscience? Check about my first and second posts about it!

In this lesson plan, you’ll find the three stages of the PPP framework, different patterns of interaction, active retrieval and revision, brain breaks, Task-based learning (pre-task, while-task, and post-task), and suggestions for homework. It is not my intention to go through these terms right now as I want you to analyze the lesson plan regardless if you’re an experienced or a novice teacher. In future posts, I’ll go back to this lesson plan and analyze each section individually, as well as get into detail about this terminology.

What I do want you to do is to answer these questions and give me some feedback. If you do so, become a follower of my blog, and share my lesson plan, I’ll offer to plan one of your lessons for free! How about that? I’ll select the 3 first followers who leave a comment here. Also, if you are an ESL/EFL teacher, check out my American English File extra activities post.


1) What grade (1-great, 2-good, 3-needs improvement) would you give my lesson plan?

2) What are some of the best parts of this lesson, and some of the parts you would change?

3) Can you see yourself adapting this lesson plan to use it with your students?

4) Is the lesson plan something your students might enjoy?

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

You might want to access my latest lesson plan published by National Geographic Learning’ website. Just click on the link below the picture