Are smart clothes the future?

Lesson plan overview

This intermediate ESL lesson is dedicated to smart clothing, also known as high tech clothing, smart garments or smart wear. Students will talk about technology and innovation, learn useful vocabulary to describe smart clothing and other products and work on designing and presenting their own smart clothing ideas. This lesson will work well combined with other technology-related topics such as “Paying with your face?“, as well as the worksheet “Phrasal verbs: change and innovation“. and “Idioms: technology”.
After an initial discussion about fashion and smart clothing, students look at photos of different types of clothes and think of ways technology could be implemented in each of them. Then they are given different features and they match them to the correct piece of smart clothing.
Next, students brainstorm the pros and cons of smart clothing, after which they are given different statements and they need to divide them into pros and cons. This activity also introduces some of the target vocabulary for this lesson ( e.g. track, monitor, improve, technical glitch). Students then complete a few questions with the words they have just learned and use them as conversation starters.
Video: Students watch a video Japan Smart Clothing: Researchers design clothes that monitor health. and complete the extracts with the words they hear.
Vocabulary: the next activity introduces a few more advanced synonyms to the word “innovative” (groundbreaking, revolutionary, pioneering). Students look at the sentences given and underline the synonyms. Then there is a more detailed explanation about each one as well as the most common nouns it is used with.
Speaking: the lesson wraps up with a speaking activity: students are asked to design their own smart clothes and prepare a presentation to present their idea in front of potential investors. They are encouraged to use the vocabulary from this lesson as well as the useful phrases given.
The conversation cards can be used for further speaking practice.
This lesson can be combined with other fashion-related or technology-related topics, as well as topics about innovation and the future.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

Some clothes aren’t just clothes.
The pants work with a “wearable x” that teaches poses one step at a time.
Each time she talks about my ankles, my ankle starts to vibrate.
Whenever she talks about engaging my thigh, my thigh begins to vibrate.
Next, shirts that glow when you say so – illuminated apparel.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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