Tackling rising sea levels

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson plan for intermediate and upper-intermediate students explores the environmental topic of rising sea levels. Students learn vocabulary to talk about natural disasters, watch a video about coastal cities and have plenty of opportunities to speak with the conversation questions included in the lesson. You can combine it with “Climate refugees” and the worksheet “Phrasal verbs: natural disasters”.
Vocabulary: After an initial discussion, the vocabulary about natural disasters and environmental issues is introduced. Students match the environmental issue to the sentence that describes it. Then they discuss which of these problems are typical for different parts of the world.
Then students learn synonyms of “deal with” and run out of”. The last vocabulary activity is a pre-listening activity where a few expressions and idioms from the video are pre-taught.
Listening: Students watch a news report “US coastal cities trying to hold back rising sea levels” and complete a gap-fill exercise. After they watch the video, students discuss the measures proposed and their ideas about the future of coastal cities.
The lesson concludes with a speaking practice exercise in which students complete a few questions with the newly-learned vocabulary and use them as conversation starters.
Homework: 3 research topics are suggested which aim to develop the topic further. The topics, combined with the additional resources provided on theenglishflows.com 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.climate  2.glaciers   3.habitat   4.cause   5.trauma   6.chemicals   7.Europe

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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