Can limits boost creativity?

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson plan for intermediate students explores the topic of creativity and the factors that can boost or decrease creativity. Students learn useful vocabulary and idioms related to creativity and have numerous speaking tasks to encourage conversation. You can combine it with the lessons “Idea generation techniques: brainstorming“, “Phrasal verbs: new ideas“, “Phrasal verbs: change and innovation”, and “Idioms: art and creativity“.
Speaking: After an initial discussion, students work in pairs or small groups and come up with ways different activities ( e.g cooking, teaching, playing a sport) can be creative.
Pre-listening and video: Students complete a few sentences using words they are later going to hear in the video. After that they practice by filling 5 conversation questions with the same words and answer the questions. There are 2 listening activities. First, students share their own ideas on a few questions. Then they watch the video “How can limits boost creativity” and compare their ideas with the information from the video. The second exercise is a gap-fill exercise, which students complete and then watch the video again to check their answers.
Vocabulary: There is an additional vocabulary development activity. Students learn expressions about creativity (e.g. eureka moment, creative block).
Speaking practice: Students work in pairs and small groups and try to come up with as many uses of everyday objects as they can.
Homework: 3 research topics are suggested which aim to develop the topic further. The topics, combined with the additional resources provided on provide plenty of extra opportunities for contact with topic-related vocabulary in order to reinforce and enrich it.

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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:

1. through   2. idea   3. realise   4.eureka

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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