Teaching Vocabulary: A Greener Match Day
Anthony Hughes is an English teacher and materials writer working in Bangkok, Thailand. He's a big Liverpool fan but what he misses most about the UK is not being able to eat steak and kidney pies for tea! We are happy that he has decided to write this lesson plan for Premier Skills English and show us how he integrates social issues into his classroom.
This lesson focusses on speaking and vocabulary connected to the environment. The lesson can be used with 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.
Green is the colour of the football pitch, but we also use the word ‘green’ to describe being ‘environmentally friendly’. As football fans, there are many ways in which we can make the day of the big game a bit kinder to the world around us. This lesson gets students thinking about environmental issues in the context of going to a football match.
B1 / B2 (intermediate to upper intermediate)
Teenagers and adults
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.
- Worksheets: Lesson Plan and Materials Pack
- Webcomic: A Rubbish Plan
You can find the worksheets and a copy of this lesson plan in the download section on the right-hand side of this page.
Set the scene: On the way to the stadium on matchday you and your friends see some things that might be bad for the environment. What might you see?
Ask for feedback.
1. Give out the worksheet and ask if they think the following are environmental problems. Students give reasons in pairs.
- Plastic bottles
- Pop music
- Traffic noise
- Bus exhaust fumes
- Flashing LCD screens
2. Reading for general understanding
Elicit the idea of or term club magazine or fanzine: A magazine that is dedicated to the topic of a specific football club.
Tell students that in their local fanzine (choose a local football team) there is a small article called ‘Greener Matchdays’.
Students read the text and decide which of the following the text is referring to:
a. Ideas for before the match
b. Ideas during the match
c. Ideas after the match
d. Ideas for all the above (correct answer)
3. Reading for more detail
Ask students to read the text again and match the words/phrases to their meanings.
a. Feel emotionally and strongly about something (care passionately)
b. Very surprising and happening fast (alarming rate)
c. Unusual weather patterns caused by pollution (climate change)
d. Salad, soups or fruit dishes (vegetarian options)
e. Electrical items found in your home (appliances)
f. Produce that isn’t imported or brought in from far away (locally-sourced)
g. Kind to the world we live in (eco-friendly)
4. Vocabulary Building
Ask students to brainstorm (in pairs or small groups) some of the things they might do before they leave their home on match day.
Write some examples on the board. Choose one example and make a 'green suggestion' e.g. have a shorter shower.
Ask students to make some other ‘green suggestions’ before you leave your home.
Students look at exercise 4 in their worksheets and reformulate the words to create more 'green suggestions'.
Ask students to repeat the process of brainstorming ideas, and making them 'greener' for their journey to the stadium and while they are at the match.
Students then do exercises 5 & 6 in their worksheets.
Tell students they’re going to discuss their favourite ‘green ideas’. For this, they will need some simple discussion language.
Ask students to look at the phrases and match them to their correct function box in exercise 6.
Ask students to underline the words that are stressed in each phrase. Give an example: ‘What do you think?’
Students work in pairs to complete exercise 7 on their worksheets.
- Asking for ideas: What do you think?; What’s your suggestion?; Any ideas?
- Like the idea: Great idea!; That’s a nice idea.
- Dislike the idea: I’m not sure about that; I don’t think that’s going to work.
- Reasons why: It’s difficult; It should be easy to do; It’s quite expensive; It’s complicated.
Drill the phrases.
7. Task: Discussion and Poster
Explain that they have decided to help make matchdays a ‘greener experience’ for fans by creating an information poster page for the local fanzine/magazine. The best poster will appear in the fanzine.
Discussion stage: In small groups, students choose their favourite ideas from today’s lesson and decide on the ‘best 5’ for their group poster justifying their choices. Tell students they have 15 minutes to discuss and decide.
Then the students have 5-10 minutes to make a poster and prepare to present their ideas to the other groups.
When they are ready, students show their poster to the other groups and compare (5-10 minutes).
Which are the most popular ideas?
Whose poster is the best?
Feedback: Ask students to explain their reasons.
8. Further Reading & Lessons
If students show an interest in this lesson and theme. Heto further lessons and reading resources:
- A Premier Skills English lesson on the biggest environmental problem in your country.
- A Premier Skills English podcast on how football clubs are thinking about the environment.
- Newspaper article about Forest Green Rovers FC: the first carbon neutral football club in the world.
We hope you enjoy the lesson!