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Unusual Journeys
Intermediate level


This lesson will focus on listening and reading skills. It is about three unusual journeys that includes the longest Vespa journey across Europe, a six-month driving expedition across Siberia, and a group of students who hitchhiked across Britain.


Main Aims

  • For the students to connect and relate prior experience, insights, and ideas to those in the listening stories.
  • To give students practice in listening for gist, specific information and detail through the context of unusual journeys.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To give practice in reading for detail and speaking for fluency


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Briefly re-introduce myself. Ask students if they know anyone who has been on an unusual journey.Tell them they’re going to listen to three more unusual journeys, but first they’re going to do some new vocabulary.

Pre-Reading/Listening (5-8 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

Using flashcards, elicit/pre-teach some vocabulary – Vespa, hitchhike, break a record, charity, polar bear, wildlife, cameraman, injured, pizza delivery - remember to drill some items & put them on the whiteboard.

While-Reading/Listening #1 (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information reading/listening tasks

Tell students that before they listen they’re going to guess what the stories are about. Show them the sets of pictures and tell them that each story talks about two of the pictures. Tell studets to work together to match the pictures into pairs and try to make up a story about an unusual journey that includes the two pictures. Take some w/c FB & get students to give some of their ideas about which pictures they matched. Tell students to listen & see if their ideas are correct – match the pictures according to the listening. Get students to check their answers with their partners & then take w/c FB.

While-Reading/Listening #2 (5-10 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information reading/listening tasks

Stick the following questions on the board: Which journey... 1. was the longest? 2. was for charity? 3. broke a record? 4. was a race against time? 5. had its own website? 6. was made into a TV programme? See if they remember which journey matches each question. In small groups, give the students post-it with numbers 1, 2, and 3 on it (journey 1, 2, 3). Ask the students to work in groups and match the journey with the questions. Then get students to listen & check the answers. Then take w/c FB.

While-Reading/Listening #3 (14-16 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference reading/listening tasks

Tell students they’re going to read about the 3 journeys, but there are two mistakes in each text. Students will work together to read the texts in task 3 and find the mistakes. Students will listen again & check their answers. Take w/c FB

Post-Reading/Listening (2-5 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

Have a general whole discussion about the following questions: Which journey sounds the most interesting or enjoyable? Why? Which journey would you do?

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