1st Course U11: Clothes Shopping

With shopping on everyone’s mind this time of year, here are 2 clothes shopping videos that might be a good fit in your lesson plans.

This is a fun little video from the Top Notch series that is posted on YouTube. (If YouTube is blocked at your school, try the next video.) You can go to the Pearson website to get information about the whole series. There’s a review of the verb “like” as the young woman asks two sports-engrossed guys about her new clothes purchases. After viewing have students retell the story, either orally or in writing.

Do you like this?


Here is another video about clothes shopping from the Macmillan Inside Out series. (This is a sample posted on their website, not on YouTube, so this hopefully will work even for those of you with YouTube blocked at your schools.)  This video is slightly more difficult than the Top Notch video above because we don’t see the clothes mentioned, just the shopping bags they are in. Also it is in British English, but the language is very clear. Again in this video, students get lots of practice with the verb “like.”

As an activity, ask students to make 2 columns on a piece of paper, one for Martine and one for Jamie. Have them watch the video and write down all the items each of them buys. Also ask them to write what activities each likes to do. Another possibility, especially if you show this video in class is to ask students to “narrate” the story. After several viewings and students are very familiar with the video, turn the volume off and ask a student to be the narrator and talk about what is happening in the video. For DL students who are set up with sending you audio files, you might ask them to record themselves narrating, and then send you the audio file. Of course, this could also be a writing assignment.

Do you like shopping?



1st Course U11: Favorite Colors

What’s your favorite color?  Everyone has one. Have your students watch this video to hear people on the street answer that question. This video repeats and the second time around they’ll see the closed-captioned version. Great reinforcement for beginners: real people speaking, color-coordinated borders and text.

(If YouTube is blocked at your school, click the Exercise link below to go to the Real-English site. At the top of the page, click Lesson 4 Home. You may be able to access the video from one of these offerings. But beware, it is the “classic” colors video I have referenced here, not the very first video.)

The link below contains 4 pages of exercises based on the video. The second page asks questions using whose as in “Whose favorite color is red?” This question word has not been introduced in USAL so you may want to go over that before having students attempt it alone.

Real English Lesson 4 Color Exercises

1st Course U11: Clothes and Colors

To combine colors and clothing, use this paper-based study sheet with a dozen articles of colorful clothing. You could use it to make flash cards, or have students say or write sentences describing the colors of the articles of clothing.

Clothes Picture Cards

Second, a nice little listening dictation from Diane’s ESL Podcast by Diane Wallis. Too bad Mervyn’s is out of business, but all the rest is is good listening practice for this topic. Have your students follow Diane’s directions and listen 3 times, with a different focus each time: write down the clothes, then the colors, and finally  the amount she spent.

Shopping for Clothes Podcast

1st Course – Unit 12- How much?

For low-literacy students who need practice recognizing the value of coins and counting them, here is a good online activity.

Counting Money


Ventures Arcade Basic level has online activities about shopping for lower level students. There is an activity practicing how much with singular and plural nouns. Students were introduced to this in the grammar section of USAL Unit 12. The other activities in this Arcade set are about clothing and colors, a nice review of content from USAL Unit 11.

After clicking the link, make sure students click the big orange B in the box at the top so they are in Basic Level. Here are instructions to find the right activities.

Click the link below. Click the big orange B at the top. The box will be orange. Click Unit 7  Shopping. You will see 6 orange boxes on the right. Click each box to do the activities.

Ventures Basic Unit 7 Shopping


1st Course U 11: Describing People Game

“Who is my Valentine?” is a thought- and discussion-provoking game that I’d suggest for use during face-to-face time, projected for whole-class discussion and play. If you’re a tutor, this is a good activity for both you and your tutee to sit at the computer together and talk about what’s on the screen. There is some new vocabulary you will want to go over first.

This is the type of activity we’d all like to see more of online because students are using language and practicing thinking skills. There’s so much material here for a teacher to guide students in using adjectives to describe faces and talk about why the Valentine could be one person and not another. Make your students tell you why certain combinations can not be possible. “Why can’t it be Alexander?”  “Because he is not wearing a hat.”

Connections to USAL unit 11? Another match made in heaven – colors, jewelry, adjectives before nouns, present progressive verbs. They will practice all those things with this game, and in the spirit of an “extending” activity, learn some new vocabulary as well. A fun, end-of-unit class activitiy.

Who is my Valentine?