Dark tourism

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson plan explores the topic of dark tourism. It is focused on speaking and listening. You can combine it with the lesson “Travel destinations” and “Adventure tourism and extreme tourism
Speaking: The lesson starts with a speaking task. Students are given a few photos of popular dark tourism sites (Chernobyl, Auschwitz, Alcatraz) and a few questions to discuss.
Vocabulary: The vocabulary task is focused on adjectives (morbid, emotionally draining, creepy). Students are given a few sentences with the adjectives and they need to match them to their definitions. There is a gap-fill task as practice. As a speaking practice , there are 3 statements given.
Next, there is another speaking task: students talk about the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to behaving respectfully and appropriately when doing dark tourism.
Video: Students watch a video “How to do ‘Dark Tourism’ respectfully” and complete 3 tasks. First, they watch the first 2 minutes of the video and answer 2 questions, then they watch the second part and write down the tips the speakers mention and finally, they watch the second part again and take notes about different tourist sites mentioned in the video.
Collocations: students complete 7 collocations from the video (morbid fascination, hallowed grounds, war atrocities). The definitions are also provided.
The last 2 tasks focus on speaking. In the first one, students brainstorm potential dark tourism sites in their country, they choose 1 and write a description for a dark tourism web page. The last task is a debate about dark tourism.


Unlock these resources with one of our subscription plans

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:

Those with the cash to afford it are taken down to the wreckage in deep sea submarines.

London has no shortage of destinations for those with a curiosity for the macabre.

Perhaps best known today as the home of the crown jewels, the grounds are still inhabited by a spooky murder of crows.

It was, however, home to infamous criminals like Al Scarface Capone, Machine gun Kelly and the Anglin brothers.

Though the killing field of Choeung Ek, is the tourist destination with the Cambodian genocide, it was simply one of hundreds of such fields.

With radiation affecting an area of roughly 1000 square miles, Chernobyl will remain uninhabitable for some 20 000 years.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

Share this lesson plan with someone who will find it useful

0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments