Beyond the senses: exploring floatation tanks

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson deals with the senses and sensory deprivation tanks. It is focused on speaking and listening. You can combine it with the following video-based lesson plans: “The effects of noise pollution”, “Meditation and the brain”, “Cold exposure and resilience: The Wim Hof method”, “How to smash distractions“, and “The paradox of choice”, as well as the worksheets “Phrasal verbs: rest and relaxation” and Idioms: attention and concentration“.

Speaking: The lesson starts with a brainstorming activity about vocabulary about the different senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell). Students complete a table with different vocabulary about the senses.Next, students discuss 10 conversation questions related to the senses. After that students are given different adjectives (e.g. hectic, fast-paced, competitive, globalized, digitized) and are asked to choose the adjectives that best describe the world we live in today, and to compare it with the past. Next, students take a look at 4 photos and discuss different questions about constant sensory stimulation and the effect it had on us.

Listening: students watch a video called “How sensory deprivation and floating impacts the brain” and answer 5 questions. After that they engage in a post-listening discussion.

Vocabulary: Students learn 3 advanced verbs related to each of the senses (e.g. eavesdrop, overhear, gaze, stare, nibble, devour). To practice, they complete a multiple choice activity. Finally, students are asked to give examples and brainstorm different situations, which will elicit the target vocabulary from this lesson.

For further speaking practice, you can use the conversation cards.

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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:

This gives the feeling of weightlessness and allows for complete muscle relaxation. Both the air and water are set to skin temperature to make the experience feel as comfortable as possible.
Since the body is an engine of endless chemical reactions, it is working constantly to maintain a stable internal environment in response to changes in external conditions.
Decreased sleep, increased inflammation, increased anxiety and decreased mental function are just a few side effects of this biological response left unchecked.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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