Evgeniy Kalashnikov Evgeniy Kalashnikov

Magic and tricks. Listening
Upper-Intermediate, B2 level


In this lesson students practice their listening skills for gist and details and speaking skills in the follow-up discussion. The lesson starts with lead-in which is a trick performed by the teacher (as an option you can show the video of it). The listening task is based on the picture of THE CONJURER by Bosch (an extract from a museum/art galler audioguide). In the follow-up task there five questions to be discussed.


Abc Cards for the trick
Abc Board
Abc Post-it notes
Abc Coloured envelopes

Main Aims

  • To provide gist and specific information listening practice using a text about magic and tricks in the context of an extract of a museum/art gallery audioguide

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a discussion in the context of students' beliefs in magic and experience in tricks


Warmer/Lead-in (5-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Prezi Slide 1 is a background. Start your lesson with performing a card trick or show the video of it (see the Materials Section to check the tutorial). (Prezi Slide 3 - the presenation doesn't include the trick itself, you must show the video separately) Ask Ss to think about the trick and come up with their ideas about what the secret is. Give some one minute to discuss their ideas in pairs. (Prezi Slide 2) Elicit their ideas and only then show the video with the solution. (Prezi Slide 3) Ask them the questions: T.: Can you do any magic tricks? Have you tried to do any?

Pre-Listening (8-9 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

(Before the lesson prepare the jigsaw pictures: for 8 students print 4 copies of the picture (see the Materials Section), take one picture and cut it up into 16 pieces. Then divide these 16 pieces into two piles and put each pile into a separate envelope of the same colour. Do the same procedure for the rest 3 copies. If you have no ready-made coloured envelopes, check the tutorial how to make an envelope). Give each student a coloured envelope with jigsaw pizzles. Ask two students with envelopes of the same colour to join each other and make up a picture from their cut-ups. T.: Raise your envelopes, please. Students with envelopes of the same colour join each other. Check what you have inside the envelopes. What, do you think, you will have to do? Monitor and help if it is necessary. Then show them the answer (Prezi Slide 4). Distribute post-it notes of the same colour as their envelopes and iin pairs ask your students to write as many adjectives as they can to describe the picture (give some hints about what details you want to hear from that: where it comes from, how old it is, how big it is, what they think about it). Give them only one minute. Check students understand the task. T.: What do you have to write? How many adjectives can you write on each post-it note? Do you work individually or in pairs? How much time do you have? Anticipated adjectives: interesting, dark, European, French, Dutch, oil, big, small, boring, old, ancient, medieval. Write the word "picture" on the board and ask a representative of each group to come out and stick their post-it notes in the right order. After each representative elicit some feedback (if the rest agree with the answer).

While-Listening #1 (10-10 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist listening task

Ask students to write a list of at least three things that they find interesting about the picture. If they need prompts, you can suggest that they look at people's clothes, people's expressions, what individuals are doing, the objects, the grouping of characters, the art itself (use of colour and so on). Check if students understand the task. T.: What do you have to write? How many things do you have to write? Can you write more than three? Ask students to discuss similarities with their partner. ?????????????? is it necessary to elicit feedback???? Ask your students to listen to a talk about the painting and answer if the speaker mentioned the same things at they have discussed with their partner (see the Materials Section). Elicit some feedback and conduct some discussion. T.: Did the speaker mention the same ideas as yours? T.: What other things do you find interesting about the picture that the speaker didn't mention?

While-Listening #2 (12-13 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging listening task for specific information.

Distribute HO 1. Let students read the task and the notes. Check the meaning of any unknown words, for example: 'deceive' - possible ways: the synonyms 'cheat', 'play a trick on smb'), 'lean forward' - possible way: (demonstration of the action), 'tension' - possible ways: (remember back the phrase 'to feel at ease' and lead to the synonym "uneasiness", the antonym 'calmness', or a situation about tense relationships between a husband and wife/countries, for example). Then play the recording again. Monitor to see if students need to listen a third time before feedback because the task requires students to listen intensively. Let them discuss their answers in pairs. Elicit feedback. Use chunking if necessary. (Prezi Slide 5)

Post-Listening (10-10 minutes) • To provide freer speaking practice in the context of students' beliefs in magic and experience in tricks

Show the students questions (Prezi Slide 7) and ask them to read them aloud one by one. In pairs ask them to choose two questions and discuss them. (check the Anticipated Problems and Solutions Section). While monitoring be alert to any interesting points that students discuss to raise a whole class at the end. Elicit feedback. Thank students for good work. (Prezi Slide 6)

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