Cancel culture

Lesson plan overview

This upper-intermediate to advanced ESL worksheet is dedicated to the topic of cancel culture.Students will learn important expressions to discuss this topic and talk about various aspects of cancel culture. You can combine this lesson with the worksheet “Idioms: forgiveness and acceptance

Speaking: The lesson starts with a general discussion about celebrities and the importance of public image and reputation.

Vocabulary: Before completing the vocabulary activities, students discuss what the term cancel culture means and read a short definition. Next, they learn important expressions when talking about cancel culture (call someone out, hold someone accountable, get  canceled, backlash, public scrutiny, political correctness, etc.). To practice, students discuss 7 questions, each containing an expression from the previous activity. 

Speaking: Next, students take a look at the photos of 7 celebrities (Kanye West, Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Ellen DeGeneres, J.K. Rowling, Armie Hammer, Kevin Spacey) who got canceled and discuss the reasons behind the cancellation, what consequences each of them suffered, and how has their life developed since.

Listening: Students watch a video “How does cancel culture work?” and complete 2 activities. After that, they discuss the video.

Vocabulary review and speaking: Students complete 3 opinions with words from this unit and then say which opinion they agree with. Finally, students are given 5 discussion questions. 

Writing: There is an essay topic suggestion for students to complete as homework.

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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:

It’s defined as withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they’ve done or said something considered objectionable
or offensive.
We see a number of people who have been publicly shamed who have gone viral because they were harassing black people, harassing people of color.
Those who have been driving cancel culture want to create a society that is equitable, that is tolerant, that is inclusive.
For words and actions that were said far, far long ago at a time when those words or ideas were deemed acceptable.
They encourage quick instant action.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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