Video worksheet: SKY TV Christmas Ad, 2019

E.T and Elliott.png

Video worksheet


Time for a seasonal dose of schmaltz, this year courtesy of Sky/Xfinity TV. I’ll let you (and your learners) decide if it’s a homage to a much-loved childhood classic or something entirely different.


This is a video based on an advert for a satellite TV company that reunites the characters of Elliott and E.T. from the eponymous film. As there is very little dialogue, the activity can be used at lower levels, to introduce vocabulary related to Christmas, family and nostalgia and, at higher levels, as a springboard for discussion of growing up, change and (potentially) the exploitation of the season. There are both powerpoint and paper versions of the student activities. I’d recommend the ppt format, not only to save paper, but also to make better use of some of the images used to introduce the ad. Exploit the images to elicit the story, characters, actors etc. for those students who may not have seen it (if not, why not?).


Sky Christmas advert, 2019

Sky Christmas ad 2019 E.T – teacher

Sky Christmas ad 2019 E.T – student

Link to video



Video worksheet: ‘Thank a teacher’ for World Teachers’ Day, Oct 5th.


wtd2019 image

Video worksheet


This  worksheet is designed to be used with the short video ‘Thank a teacher’, which marks the annual ‘World Teachers’ Day’ coming up on October 5th.


The video and worksheet can be used as a basis for discussion on teachers, education and childhood influences and role models. The video ‘Thank a teacher’ is fairly self-explanatory. I’ve used it with B1 classes, but I think it’s probably more accessible to levels B2 upwards. The follow-up video (Ian Wright), which went viral a couple of years ago, would probably work better at higher levels (C1+).


World Teachers’ Day – Student

World Teachers’ Day – Teacher

Link to video

Follow-up vídeo (Footballer Ian Wright is reunited with his old teacher)

TED Talks – Greta Thunberg (2018): The disarming case to act right now on climate change


Video worksheet


Worksheet based on short TED talk by Greta Thunberg, just as she was coming to prominence as a teenage climate activist.


Climate change is an extremely topical subject, for good reason. This worksheet is based on a TED Talk by the teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg when she was just 16. The ppt below can be used to brainstorm learners’ prior knowledge about the speaker. As she speaks very clear, articulate ELF (English as a Lingua Franca), this worksheet could work from B1+ (with subtitles). From C1+, try listening without subtitles first and then checking with the subtitles on the second listening.


Greta Thunberg intro

Greta Thunberg TED

Greta Thunberg TED KEY

Link to video


TED Talks: Jigsaw Listening – Mobile phones


mobile phone use

Ted Talks Worksheets and ppt discussion


Two worksheets (in print or paper-free ppt versions) related to TED talks on the subject of the (mis)use of mobile devices, followed by a ppt discussion/debate on using mobiles in class. Students have to negotiate and agree on what is and isn’t acceptable and draw up a code of good conduct. I find it very useful to do this early on in the course, as learners in different contexts (and especially of different age groups) may have different perceptions of mobile ‘etiquette’.


Each of these activities can be used independently, but I find they work very well together, especially if you can use the two talks as a jigsaw listening before moving on to the debate:

  • In-class activity: The discussion on mobile use in class is a stand-alone activity, but it is very helpful to watch one or both of the TED talks on the subject beforehand to generate ideas. There are equivalent worksheets and ppt (paper-free) versions of the activities for each TED talk.
  • Jigsaw listening: Two groups in different rooms work through the exercises on their assigned talk, controlling the subtitles  & repetition of sections as they wish. Learners re-group and summarise the talks to each other before debating the issue of mobile use in class.
  • Jigsaw listening: Flipped version. Learners are set a different talk and corresponding worksheet for homework. They summarise talks to each other in the following class before the class discussion.

This activity was inspired by Anastasia Dedyukhina’s plenary talk at Innovate ELT conference, 2019.


TED Talk 1 Adam Alter (2017) Why screens make us less happy

TED Talk 2 Anastasia Dedyukhina (2016): Could you live without a smartphone?



There is a worksheet (paper and ppt version) and teacher’s notes with key for both talks, The debate on mobile phone use in class is on ppt only and has accompanying teacher’s notes,

TED Talk 1 (worksheet) Adam Alter – Why screens make us less happy – student

TED Talk 1 (ppt) Adam Alter 2017

TED Talk 1 Teacher’s notes Adam Alter – Why screens make us less happy – teacher

TED Talk 2 (worksheet) Anastasia Dedyukhina – Addicted to phones – student

TED Talk 2 (ppt) Anastasia Dedyukhina 2016

TED Talk 2 Teacher’s notes Anastasia Dedyukhina – Addicted to phones – teacher

PPT discussion Mobiles in class

PPT discussion Teacher’s notes Mobiles in class. Teacher’s notes

Discussion worksheet: Millennials

Image credit:


Speaking worksheet


Worksheet inspired by the updated version of the song ‘Ironic’ (for millennials) by Alanis Morissette, shown on the Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015.


Discussion worksheet on the theme of millennials, focussing on vocabulary of personality traits and new technology. Learners listen to an updated version of the 90s classic ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morissette, updated for Gen Y, and discuss their reactions. I used this to supplement unit 11 of Headway Advanced (on the subject of new technology), but it could also work at lower levels for discussion of personality, generation (gaps), etc.

I’ve uploaded both the ppt and pdf version here. The ppt version includes the song and has more animations, but it is a heavier file. You can adapt it if you want, but please remember to credit me if you do!


Ironic – for millennials – teacher

Ironic – for millennials (ppt)

Ironic – for millennials 

Link to video: Ironic (for millennials)

Link to video: Tracey Ullman ‘Woke’

NB: Adult themes, bad language!



Advert worksheet: John Lewis, 2009

guns n roses

Video worksheet


An advert is not just for Christmas! You’ve probably noticed a number of John Lewis ads on this blog and I make no apology for adding another one, even if it isn’t Christmas.


Video worksheet based on the 2009 Christmas ad. Yes, it’s commercial and portrays an aspirational lifestyle perhaps not in keeping with the times, but I think that can be used as a springboard for discussion: how much has changed in the 10 years since this advert first came out? As for language, I’ve used this worksheet as a way to introduce the indirect object passive at B1 -B2 level (challenging for Spanish speakers as there is no equivalent in their L1). Plus, the song is a classic!


Ad – John Lewis 2009 Sweet child o mine – Teacher

Ad – John Lewis 2009 sweet child o mine – Student

Link to (ad) video

Link to (music) video

NB – the video has English subtitles. Play just sound first if you want your learners to do the listening practice first.


TED Talks – Hackschooling makes me happy

Logan LaPlante

Video worksheet


Worksheet based on a TED talk given by a 13-year old boy, Logan LaPlante, about his experiences of homeschooling.


This worksheet is based on a TED Talk (the link below has subtitles in English). It can be used to introduce the topics of education, parenting and happiness and as a springboard for discussion on the subject of homeschooling. It is designed to be used at higher levels (C1+) and would supplement units 7 (happiness) and 8 (Gender/Parenting) in New Headway Advanced (4th Edition, Soars, J & L, & Hancock, P. Oxford University Press).


Logan LaPlante – Hackschooling – student

Logan LaPlante – Hackschooling – teacher

Link to video