Black Friday is coming. This day seems to be the best-loved one for every person who is into shopping. All the retailers and shopping chains have incredible bargains. For English teachers, it is a fantastic opportunity not only to teach some vocabulary connected with shopping but also to give their students a chance to use their imagination and to acquire new real-life skills.
Teach vocabulary for shopping
Obviously one of the most logical things to teach your students is the vocabulary related to shopping. Here you can use a lesson in your book connected with the topic. Another thing is to use extra materials:
- elementary students – Elementary Vocabulary Games by Jill Hadfield, English Vocabulary in Use Elementary Book with Answers by Felicity O’Dell Michael McCarthy, Oxford Word Skills: Basic by Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman
- pre-intermediate and intermediate students – English Vocabulary in Use pre-intermediate and intermediate by Stuart Redman
- upper-intermediate students – English Vocabulary in use Upper-intermediate by Felicity O’Dell Michael McCarthy (Topic “Money” could be useful)
- advanced students – English Idioms in Use by Michael McCarthy and Felicity O’Dell (Topic “Money” could be useful)
Let’s start with a short story
Ask your students some questions to get them thinking:
Do you like shopping?
What do you know about Black Friday?
How do you think the story of Black Friday began?
When is this day?
Why do shops give such big discounts?
Do you think everyone loves this day? Why/Why not?
Give your students some time to discuss the questions.
The next step could be:
a) giving the students time to Google the right answers
What do people do on this day?
Ask your students to watch the video about how people behave on this day and let them discuss the differences between the two ways people behave and the consequences of such behaviour. Also, let them share their experience on the types of behaviour they have seen in the shops in their country.
An oldie goldie
A good ranging activity has never spoilt any lesson. Ask students in groups of 4 to come up with lists of things they would like to buy. Also, let them add some information like the usual price and desirable price for these items.
Now ask your students to work individually and to range the items according to the necessity or their wish to get them. You can also add them a challenge like if they have only 5$ a week, what they would buy first and so on. Or another option here could be if they all cost the same, how the order would change.
When we want to buy something, what are the first things we look at? Right, they are photos and some functions. Why don’t we use real-life descriptions of goods and some photos of the same goods? Just print some, cut them and ask students to match a description to a corresponding good. To make the task more challenging, you can add more photos or more descriptions. Use websites like Walmart, Amazon, eBay.
Another option here is to give students some characteristics and ask them to find the corresponding items on the websites. Also, ask them to choose the best thing to buy for their mother/father/friend and so on.
Ad for Black Friday
It is funny to imagine yourself on the other side of all this stuff – to pretend to be a seller or designer for the ads. Use your teens’ imagination to come up with a slogan, description and a photo or video to sell something. Give them time to prepare a short presentation, then vote all together for the best one, funniest one, the most unexpected one and so on. Ask them to use any programme or website to help them ( nice things can be found on canva.com).
Use any chance to give more input in an unusual way so that you get more feedback from your students and they would certainly benefit from that.