Teaching Vocabulary: Fitness Plans
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.
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.
A2 / B1 (elementary to intermediate)
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.
- 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.
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?
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.
Hand out Worksheet two - Fitness plan.
- Get students to tick the suggestions which they made in the previous stage.
- Ask students to discuss what the exercises are and which are the most difficult/easiest.
- Ask them to complete the activity under the fitness plan.
- Ask them to describe an interesting meal for each day (using the key ingredients in the fitness plan).
- Squat Thrusts
- Shuttle Runs
- Star Jumps
- Stair Climber
Alternative: Students act out one of the activities and the others guess or write down the exercise being performed.
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.
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
- Workout activities
- Notes on why theirs is the best one
9. Task: Delivery
- Students create their own fitness plan using their notes and worksheet 2 as a model.
- 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
- 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.
- Player/ Coach meeting: Students could create a follow-up dialogue between Paul and Rafa.
- Comic Strip Extension: Students could look back at the comic strip and add Paul and Rafa to the story.
We hope you enjoy the lesson!