Leigh Davidson Leigh Davidson

Money, Money, Money
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate, Prep Speaking level


In this lesson Ss will discuss various subjects related to money, including spending habits and behaviors, credit and debt, and greed. Ss will read an article on celebrity lifestyles and the "price" of being wealthy, and will take a quiz on how greedy their responses would be considered in certain situations. Colloquial expressions will also be introduced, including some common idioms referencing the subject of money.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of money (spending it, saving it, and being greedy about it).

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide Ss with an opportunity to translate idiomatic and metaphorical language into their own words, simplifying complex thoughts and concepts into a simple description.


Warmer/Lead-in (18-20 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write on the WB SPENDING AND ENJOYING MONEY. Elicit from the WC some of the ways that they can spend money to provide themselves with pleasure. Write some of the answers on the WB. Based on the Ss answers, try to point out which of the purchases may be considered WASTED MONEY or EXTRAVAGANT. (write on the WB) "Would you say that any of these purchases cost an EXORBITANT PRICE?" (write on the WB) Also write on the WB SPLURGE and BUYER'S REMORSE. Elicit from the WC which of the purchases previously mentioned could be considered a 'splurge' and when one may feel 'buyer's remorse.' Write on the WB CREDIT and DEBT. Divide the WC into groups and instruct them to discuss, and decide upon, some common reasons that people use credit, rather than physical money, and some possibilities for why people would go into debt. Following GW discussion, bring the WC together for FB. Write some of the groups' answers on the WB. Instruct the groups to come up with a list of 4 good ways to use credit and 4 bad reasons to pile up debt. Then bring the GW conversations back to the WC for some general responses to every group's list. Write some of the groups' lists on the WB to illustrate commonalities, amongst the groups, in their thoughts on credit and debt.

Useful Language (9-11 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Write on the WB SPENDING HABITS. Write below the following: "spending philosophy; thrifty shopper; impulsive shopper; within their means; and, above their means." Elicit from the WC what they think each of these terms mean. Find out which Ss is an impulsive shopper and which Ss is a thrifty shopper. When discussing the 'within and above their means' section, use spending philosophy answers to assist if Ss are unsure of the definition for "within and above their means."

Productive Task: The Price of Everything (17-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Write on the WB the following: "a new shirt; a pair of shoes; food for one week; a one-week holiday; a party for your friends., Elicit from the WC how much they spend (or would spend) on these items. Then write on the WB the following: "a haircut; a wedding; decorating a bedroom; an apartment; a car; a nannny for your children for one week; a coat for a child; a night out; a year's membership at the gym." Elicit from the WC how much they think is a reasonable amount to spend on these things. Distribute the 'Price of Everything' HO and have the groups read and discuss. "You are going to read about some rich celebrities--like Madonna and the Beckhams--and their expensive lifestyle. Think about our previous discussion on reasonable prices for products and services. Do you think the amount that these celebrities spend is reasonable or not? Read and then discuss the questions on the HO." Have WC FB following GW discussion. Focus on the discussion questions from the HO. IF TIME AND INTEREST: Focus the WC on the title of the article, "The Price of Everything, The Value of Nothing." "If I have an unlimited supply of money, can anything really be considered valuable (of value) to me? Do I really care about anything I own?"

Useful Language: Money Idioms (13-16 minutes) • Expansion of Ss knowledge on idiomatic speech, within the context of money

Write on the WB MONEY IDIOMS and the following: "Pour money down the drain (T Answer: to waste money); Someone's bread and butter (T Answer: work that provides income--e.g. teaching is my bread and butter); Cost an arm and a leg (T Answer: an extravagant purchase); Be sitting on a goldmine (T Answer: to have something that produces large profits--e.g. Steve Jobs with the original Macintosh); Kill the goose the lays the golden egg (T Answer: to harm or destroy something that gives you money or power); Daylight robbery (T Answer: an exorbitant price); There's no such thing as free lunch (T Answer: you cannot get something for nothing)." Have the WC guess what the meaning behind each idiom is. Elicit from the WC whether they agree with the last idiom, on free lunch. Also ask the following: "Do you know of anything that might be considered a 'goldmine' in the growing Turkish economy?"

Productive Task: Quiz on Greed (14-16 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Organize the WC into new pairs and distribute the Greed Quiz HO. Instruct the groups to read through the HO and answer each scenario. "What would you do [how would you respond] in each situation--choice A, B, C, or D. I want to find out who is the most generous person and who is the greediest person in this classroom." Following GW discussion, bring the class together for WC FB. Following a WC poll of the quiz results, elicit from the Ss whether or not they agree with the results of the quiz and how the quiz is constructed. "Do you think the answers are realistic reactions or are some of them just exaggerated/stereotypical responses (especially those answers in the A and B sections)?"

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