When to tip and when to skip
Lesson plan overview
This FREE intermediate ESL lesson plan is dedicated to the topic of tipping, with a focus on “tipflation” (a term used to describe the United States’ recent widespread expansion of gratuity to more industries, not just restaurants and hotels). Students will learn useful vocabulary and will discuss topics like guilt-tipping, fair compensation in the hospitality industry, and tipping etiquette around the world. You can combine it with “Phrasal verbs: money”. You can also use this lesson in a Business English class if your students are employed in the hospitality industry.
Speaking: The lesson starts with 5 discussion questions related to tipping. Then, students look at 9 situations and decide whether to leave a tip, and how much would they tip in each one.
Vocabulary: First, students learn expressions related to tipping (customary, a generous tipper, to round up, service charge, minimum wage). To practice the vocabulary, students complete 5 statements with the correct expression, and then discuss the statements. Next, students expand their vocabulary about tipping by completing 5 expressions with the correct word (tipping upfront, tipping etiquette, tip jar, a guilt tip). Then students answer 5 questions related to tipping.
Listening: Students watch a video called “Has tipping reached a tipping point? Whom to tip and whom to skip” and answer 7 questions. After that, they engage in a post-listening discussion about tipping culture in the US.
Speaking: Finally, students are given 4 debate topics to discuss in pairs or small groups.
To review the target vocabulary from this lesson, you can use the conversation cards.
To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.
Conversation cards PDF
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