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Teaching Vocabulary: Fitness Plans

Teaching Vocabulary: Fitness Plans

 Adam

Adam Crowther is an English teacher and materials writer in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We are happy that he has decided to write this lesson plan for Premier Skills English and show us how he has used webcomics with his students. He supports Aston Villa, but we won't hold that against him!

This lesson focusses on vocabulary connected to fitness and exercise. The lesson uses one of the webcomics available on Premier Skills English.   

There are language tasks and activities for your students, a focus on pronunciation, a main speaking task and extension activities. 

Find the full lesson plan and all the worksheets you need in the downloads section on the side of this page.

Lesson Plan

Introduction

Many learners enjoy comic strips and this lesson gives students a chance to learn language related to the Premier Skills webcomic: Five United. This episode is called ‘Fit to Play’. 
Students read about fitness and exercise and discuss the issues one player has in the webcomic. The language focus is on making suggestions for a fitness plan, and learners have the opportunity to focus on speaking and pronunciation.

In our webcomic, Budi needs a fitness plan. Can your students design a good one?

Level

A2 / B1 (elementary to intermediate)

Age

9-16 (approximately)

Time

90 minutes

This lesson is flexible and can be used over two different classes or one 90-minute class. You can also extend or shorten some of the steps depending on the level and needs of your students.

Preparation

Materials

  • Worksheet 1: Reading
  • Worksheet 2: Fitness Plan
  • Webcomic: Fit to Play

You can find the worksheet and a copy of this lesson plan in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this page.

Procedure

1. Lead-in

Introduce the theme of the lesson to the learners:

Show page 3 of the webcomic ‘Fit to Play’ and elicit Budi's problem. Answer: Budi is exhausted.

Get students to brainstorm why he is so tired. Main answer: He’s unfit. Other possible answers: It’s too hot, he’s sick, he has an unhealthy diet etc.

Discussion: Ask students to discuss which of the problems mentioned do you think professional sports people are most likely to have and why?

2. Context task

Tell students they are going to read about a Premier League player who has problems with his fitness. Elicit possible reasons: diet, training, injury, holidays etc.

3. Reading for general understanding

Give out Worksheet 1 – Reading and ask the following questions:

Does the conversation take place before, during or after training? Answer: After

What problem does the player have? Answer: He's unfit.

How did the player get this problem? Answer: He’s taken a break, not eaten well, and spent too much time relaxing rather than training.

Post-reading question: Do you think Paul will be fit for the first match of the season?

Would your fitness plan include some running?

4. Speaking

Write on the board: Rafa: “I’m going to create a fitness plan for you”.

Ask students to discuss what Rafa could include in the fitness plan to help Paul get fit. Remember to include workout exercises as well as dietary suggestions.

Lower levels: Get students to brainstorm healthy food and exercise before this stage begins. Then lead into the ‘fitness plan’ part. 

5. Vocabulary

Hand out Worksheet two - Fitness plan.

  1. Get students to tick the suggestions which they made in the previous stage.
  2. Ask students to discuss what the exercises are and which are the most difficult/easiest.
  3. Ask them to complete the activity under the fitness plan.
  4. Ask them to describe an interesting meal for each day (using the key ingredients in the fitness plan).

Answers:

  1. Squat Thrusts
  2. Planks
  3. Skipping
  4. Shuttle Runs
  5. Star Jumps
  6. Stair Climber

Alternative: Students act out one of the activities and the others guess or write down the exercise being performed.

Chelsea's David Luiz in the gym.

6. Vocabulary Builder

Get students to refer back to the webcomic, page 6.  Ask: What activities does Budi do to get fit? (Answers: push-ups and running).

Ask students what other ideas they have for getting fit. Put ideas on the board for an extended bank of vocabulary for the final task.

Extra suggestions: push-ups, squats, pull-ups, beep test and activities such as aerobics, yoga, tennis or badminton. 

7. Pronunciation

Drill chunks of language whole class. Focus on the following phrase and use different suggestions from the previous vocabulary activity:

  • ‘He/she should do some ...'
  • ‘He/she could do some ...'

Ask students to tell each other what they think the player should do.

8. Task: Preparation

Tell students that Paul (from the reading) is making progress, but he’s still not fit enough. He wants the students to create a new fitness plan for him. Students make notes on what they want to include in the fitness plan. They need to include:
  • Day/Time
  • Workout activities
  • Diet
  • Notes on why theirs is the best one
This can be done individually, with students sharing ideas later in pairs/ groups.

9. Task: Delivery

  1. Students create their own fitness plan using their notes and worksheet 2 as a model. 
  2. Stick the plans around the room.

Feedback Option 1: Students read the plans and choose the one they’d most like to do and why.

Feedback Option 2: Add a competitive element. Get students to choose categories (most effective, easiest, most fun etc.) and then walk around giving their awards to each fitness plan. Announce the ones with the most votes in each category.

Alternatives and Extensions

  1. Try out the Fitness Plans: Students choose one of the fitness plans to try out over a week. They then have to report back to the class on how it went.
  2. Player/ Coach meeting: Students could create a follow-up dialogue between Paul and Rafa.
  3. Comic Strip Extension: Students could look back at the comic strip and add Paul and Rafa to the story.

What kind of fitness plans can your students come up with?

We hope you enjoy the lesson!

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Comments

RHodgson
06/09/2019
FR
7
points

Hi Adam,
Thanks for this lesson plan, I'm going to try it with my class.
The answer to 5a sounds like a sit-up, but the sheet says the answer is a squat thrust. For me, this does not describe a squat thrust. Definition of a squat thrust: an exercise in which the legs are thrust backwards to their full extent from a squatting position with the hands on the floor.
However, looks like an interesting subject for my class with some useful vocab.


RHodgson
06/09/2019 11:10
France
Norwich City
7

Hi Adam,
Thanks for this lesson plan, I'm going to try it with my class.
The answer to 5a sounds like a sit-up, but the sheet says the answer is a squat thrust. For me, this does not describe a squat thrust. Definition of a squat thrust: an exercise in which the legs are thrust backwards to their full extent from a squatting position with the hands on the floor.
However, looks like an interesting subject for my class with some useful vocab.

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

Goals

1. To read about and learn vocabulary connected to fitness and exercise.

2. To make suggestions. 

3. To create a fitness plan for a Premier League player.