Barbie fever

Lesson plan overview

This lesson plan is focused on the recently released Barbie movie and the marketing strategy used to generate hype about the film prior to releasing it. Students will talk about successful marketing strategies of other films before moving on to discussing Barbie. The lesson contains vocabulary related to promoting and releasing films, discussion questions and a writing task. You can combine with other marketing lesson plans, or the worksheet “Idioms: entertainment“.
Speaking: The lesson starts with 2 speaking tasks. First, students discuss 8 questions about films. Then, they look at the posters of 6 films (Avatar, The Blair Witch Project, The Dark Knight, IT, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Deadpool) and talk about the reasons why these films became so popular.
Reading: Students read short texts outlining the marketing strategies used to promote each of the films from activity 2. Then they complete 2 tasks related to the texts.
Vocabulary: Students learn different expressions related to film releases (to hit the cinema, to gain exposure, to make headlines, opening weekend, box office).
Pre-listening discussion: Students complete 5 questions about the Barbie movie with the expressions they’ve just learned and discuss the questions in pairs or small groups.
Listening: Students watch a video called “Uncovering Barbie’s secret: The marketing magic behind the most anticipated movie of the year!” and take notes about different parts of the marketing strategy used to promote Barbie. After watching the video, students talk about whether they’ve seen or are planning to see Barbie.
Speaking: As an optional extension activity, students discuss Barbie in general, the criticism it has faced over the years and how Mattel has responded to them.
Finally, students are given a review writing task, which could be set as homework.
You can use the conversation cards to review the target vocabulary and for additional speaking pracitce.

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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:

The iconic Barbie is headed to the big screen and let me tell you the build-up to this movie has been nothing but pure genius from a marketing perspective.
Who can forget the global headlines Barbie made by creating a pink paint shortage?

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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