Lesson Plan: Lexicography (B2+)

Hmmmmm, what is lexicography, you ask?

‘the activity or occupation of compiling dictionaries.’ – Sounds like fun, right?!

This is a nice little Ted Talk lesson focused on vocabulary and how words are selected in our dictionaries, also focusing on a discussion on what words should/shouldn’t be put into the dictionary.

Here are some new words added to the Oxford English dictionary in 2018 you can share with your students. Why do you think they were selected? What do you think is the criteria for adding a word to the dictionary? Are these words useful?

slimeball (n) – A repulsive or despicable person.

‘My boss is a complete slimeball – he always hits on me and he’s married!’

sausage party (n) -An event or group in which the majority of participants are male.

‘this is a total sausage party, let’s leave’

munted (adj) -In a state of disastrous disintegration; broken or ruined.

‘with government departments buying overpriced rubbish, no wonder the budget is all munted’

chemsex, n. -Sexual activity engaged in while under the influence of stimulant drugs

‘the majority of interviewees had a history of recreational drug use prior to becoming involved in chemsex’

facepalm, v. – A gesture in which the palm of one’s hand is brought to one’s face as an expression of dismay, exasperation, embarrassment.

‘did anyone else facepalm during this scene?’

crowd-surfer, n. – A person who engages in crowd-surfing at a concert.

‘I was recording a video of my favorite band when a crowd-surfer kicked my phone out of my hand’

Get students to check the questions before watching the video. Watch the video and then go through the answers. Put students into groups to discuss the questions and then get some feedback. If you have any time left, use the extension task below (it’s hilariously fun).


Game: Balderdash

Play in groups. One student will be the leader of the group. The teacher will give the leader of each group and set of words and definitions. The leader will give the word to the group (but not the definition!). Everyone must invent a definition for the word. The leader should write correct definition and then mix with the other definitions. The group must then decide the correct definition. Whoever chooses the correct definition gets a point. The student with the most points wins.

Lesson Plan: Lying (B1-B2)

If you’re partner hasn’t been eating very healthily for the last few weeks and asks you ‘Do I look fat today?’, what do you say? If you tell the truth, you’ll ruin their day (and probably your sex life) or maybe they will appreciate the honesty – who knows.

You see your friend’s partner on the street kissing another person – What do you do? Most people would tell their friend immediately but should you? is it your business? could it jeopardise your friendship?

You’re gay and not ready to come out but people are asking you? Sure, you could tell the truth but can you wholeheartedly trust the people you love to accept you? What are the short-term/long-term consequences?

We are all taught from a child that lying is wrong but then why is it so easy? We all do it. We do it to protect ourselves, we do it to protect others and we do it because sometimes telling the truth feels like giving up the control in a situation.

and so, is lying inherently bad?

These are some questions and situations I like to discuss with my students at the beginning of the class before eliciting some good vocab – for example;

to tell a lie
to tell the truth
to tell a whopper/a tall tale
to fib / tell a fib (UK)
to detect a lie
a white lie
to get away with a lie
to get caught (in a lie)

After this, get them to discuss the questions with a partner and then pre-teach the vocabulary on the worksheet, get them to match to the definitions and maybe make some example sentences together if they are finding the vocab too difficult.

Next, tell them they are going to watch a talk about children lying – Ask them ‘Do you think children lie more than adults or adults lie more than children – why?’ – hold a little discussion with your class and then get them to take a look at the questions before watching the video.

After you have gone through the answers and checked their understanding of what was said in the talk – have them discuss the questions in groups and get some feedback.


If I have some time left, I usually play 3 truths and a lie. If you don’t know this game, it’s very fun! Do an example for your students. Write 4 things about yourself, 3 true and 1 lie. Ask them to try and detect the lie, hold a small discussion and then reveal who is right. Put your students in groups and ask them to do the same.

I have met JK Rowling. (t)

I have lived in Italy. (t)

I have been a teacher for 7 years. (f)

I have met Amy Winehouse. (t)