Stuart Mill English

How to Learn, How to Teach English

How much do you want for that?

This is another one-hour conversation activity. For an introduction to the series, click here. Enjoy.

Name: How much do you want for that?

Prep Time: 15 minutes


One picture of an exciting product for each student (e.g. a watch, a television, a boat, a pair of shoes, a diamond, etc. They can be anything. You can rip them out of a magazine or print them off the internet.)

On the back of each picture, you should write a price. It doesn’t matter if it’s accurate.

Primary Objective: Practice descriptive skills.

Other Benefits: Practice larger numbers.


Pre-Speaking (5 minutes)

First, review with the class how to say numbers up to a million.

Pre-Speaking (15 minutes)

On the board, write: “How much do you think this is?” and “I think it costs…”

Hold up the first picture and ask a student: “How much do you think this is?” Say “higher” or “lower” (depending on their guess). Then, the next student should guess. When a student guesses the price, give them the object.

Repeat with the next object, but don’t ask the student who already guessed the price of an object.

Repeat until all of the students have objects.

Speaking (30 minutes)

Have the students stand in front of the classroom in a row. The student with the most expensive object should stand all the way on the left. The student with the least expensive object should stand all the way on the right.

Tell the students that they need to trade their object with someone. They should mingle and try to convince someone to trade objects with them.

Then, they should line up again. When they’re lined up, go down the line. Each student should say how much each object cost and why they traded.

Now, they should do it again—trade objects, line up again and explain why.

Have them do it a third time before they return to their seats.

Post-Speaking (10 minutes)

Have the students pair up. Give each pair two pictures and have them discuss these questions about the pictures (write them on the board):

Would you ever buy this?

How much would you really pay for it?

Would you ever give this as a gift? Who would you give it to?

When they finish discussing those questions, they should pass the pictures to the next group.


Have the students create a short commercial for their object. They should use at least five adjectives to describe the product and mention the price.


Ideas for Homework: Each student should research how much the objects really cost.

Modification for Lower Levels: Before you start the Speaking portion, write these expressions on the board and review what they mean.

Can I trade you my ____ for your _____?

Why should I trade?

You should trade because this is…

OK. I’ll trade.

I don’t think so, sorry.

Modification for Higher Levels: As the students say what they traded for and why, ask them detailed follow-up questions.

Modification for Small Groups: Rather than doing this once with a large number of objects, do it several times with a small number of objects each time.

Modification for Private Lesson: The student will have to guess the prices of each object on their own. After they’ve guessed your made-up prices, have the student order the objects by what is most valuable to them and explain why each step of the way.

Modification for Different Themes: Pick products on a different theme. For travel, you might just pick vacation destinations. For technology, you might find a technology magazine to rip pictures out of. For animals, you might ask how much you would pay to have each animal as a pet.

August 11, 2010 Posted by | Conversation Lesson Plans, Lesson Plans | , , , , | Leave a comment

Talking about Money

This is another speaking topic for students. Click here to read the introduction to the series.

Students, remember, you can only speak English while you do this activity. Don’t speak your native language for at least one hour. You can do it!

Teachers, you can adapt these for lessons, or give them as homework.

Topic: Money

Objectives: After the discussion, you should be able to discuss money.

Materials: none


Listen and repeat these expressions.

I mostly spend money on food. Say this to describe how you spend your money. We chose “food” but you can say any noun.
I need to get some cash. Say when you need to find an ATM/Cashpoint/Bank Machine.
I found a great deal. Say after you found something for a cheap price.
I’m broke. Say when you don’t have money.
I’m dead broke. Say when you really, really don’t have money.
That’s way too expensive. Say after you see something with a very high price.
That’s a great deal. Say after you see something with a very low price.
I need to save up some money for that. Say when you want to buy something after you have more money.
I went on a bit of a spending spree. Say when you spent a lot of money on different things.

Vocabulary: cash, broke, dead broke, deal, spending spree

Vocab Activity: Do a Google image search for each word and discuss the pictures with your partner. (You can also draw pictures of each word and discuss the pictures with your partner.)

Makes lists Write a list of ten things you have bought recently.

Ask your partner the following questions about each item (example answers are in italics):

What is the first thing on your list? The first thing I bought was soap.

Why did you buy it? We didn’t have any more soap at home.

Was it a good deal? Yes. It was a great deal! I only paid fifty cents. / No, it was way too expensive.

Are you glad you bought it? Yes!

Why/Why not? I like being clean!

Question Time: Now ask your partner these questions:

What do you usually spend money on?

Do you usually find good deals?

What is the most expensive thing you ever bought?

What are three expensive things you want to buy in the next five years?

Do you like spending money? How do you feel when you buy things?

Do people save a lot of money in your country? Do people spend too much money in your country?

Do your parents and you feel the same about money? How are different generations different?

Your Questions: Write five discussion questions about money. Ask your partner your questions.

YouTube Money Videos Search YouTube for the following songs and discuss which one you like the most and why.

“Money for Nothing” by The Dire Straights

“Money” by The Beatles

“Money” by Pink Floyd

July 17, 2010 Posted by | Speaking, Studying Strategies | , , , | 1 Comment