Colour psychology – idioms

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Vocabulary - idioms with colours

English lesson plan for adults

The video contains explicit content. Viewer discretion is advised

LESSON OVERVIEW

This English lesson plan for adults focuses on colours and how we perceive them in terms of emotions and feelings. Students will have to think what in their opinion particular colours represent and how they can be used by various industries to influence us. Thus the video in the lesson is a collection of shots from different films with nouns associated with given colours.

B2 / Upper Intermediate60 minStandard LessonPrintable & Digital$6 Plan

The video contains explicit content. Viewer discretion is advised. Consider using this English lesson plan only with adults!

WORD BUILDING AND DISCUSSION

Firstly, students have to think about the colours given and fill in the gaps to make  nouns of feelings they represent. Then, they need to make adjectives from the nouns from ex. 1. In the next task, students answer some questions concerning their favourite colour, different meanings of colours in different cultures and industries which may use colours to influence us. However, if your students can’t come up with any ideas of such branches, guide them to such industries as film, advertising, TV, etc.

VIDEO

Before watching the video, your students get a long list of nouns such as passion, madness, immaturity, etc. First of all, they have to match them with colours they represent. Next, they watch a video and check their answers. Because of the video, this is an English lesson plan for adults only. The video contains some explicit content, so watch it beforehand and decide if it’s suitable for your group. In addition, as a homework idea, you can ask your students to create adjectives from these nouns at home.

IDIOMS

The lesson contains two tasks on idioms. In the first one, students need to choose correct colours in the sentences. Then, they have another exercise and have to complete sentences with such phrases as black out, in the red or white lie. Finally, students have the chance to practise these idioms. First, they have to write five Wh-questions, then work in pairs and ask and answer each other’s questions.

WORKSHEETS

Comments

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  1. Thanks for a great lesson plan. Just one correction perhaps: replace “erotism” (rarely used) with “eroticism” (more commonly used). Thanks again and keep up the good work.

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    1. Nick, it’s a valid point you’ve raised. It pertains not only to ‘erotism’ but also ‘feminity’. Although you’re right, we left these forms in the Student’s Version as they are the words which students will see in the video. But I guess, however, that teachers should also draw attention to the more commonly used forms so we left an appropriate comment box in the Teacher’s pdf.

      Thanks for the comment and it’s great you like that lesson plan 🙂

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    2. Thanks for your comment!!

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  2. Love the lesson, but I think some of the photos are inappropriate to show in my adult ESL class. I wish it were rated PG!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! From now on, we will add some information if the video/images contain explicit content so that Teachers can decide whether these sorts of things are appropriate for their classes.

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  3. I agree with previous comments, it’s quite inappropriate for my ESL adult students let alone younger ones. Pornographic scenes have to be rated, if not removed from an educational movie. I accidentally overlooked these scenes prior to class and was totally shocked at seeing them in class while showing to my ss. I thought Ted4esl posts appropriate scenes, but you quite disappointed me.

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    1. It’s definitely for adults only! We added a red note about it in the description. However, I wouldn’t call it pornographic rather maybe erotic, after all they’re movie clips. It’s up to you what you deem appropriate for classes 🙂

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      1. Stan, I have to agree with Olga. This IS considered pornographic. Definition according to a Google search: “Constituting or resembling pornography; obscene.” Lol. 0:57. Dude, I volunteer to teach ESL at a BAPTIST CHURCH lol Could you imagine if I had forgotten to view the video before teaching this lesson?! ALWAYS. REVIEW. YOUR. CONTENT.

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        1. I must agree that you need to use content that’s appropriate for your environment/culture. I’ve done this lesson a dozen times and nobody was shocked but I wouldn’t go for it for a Baptist Church group 🙂 BTW at 0:57, there is a scene from 50 Shades of Grey, rated R in the US but it’s 15 in many countries and in the Netherlands it was even rated 12 (never ever would I recommend it for that age) 🙂

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      2. Thank you for the warning! I choose not to use it especially being a female teacher in an all male classroom. It’s a good video, pity another appropriate one couldn’t be used.

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  4. hi, really good lesson. do you have a list of the movies used in the clips?

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    1. Sure 🙂 Just go to the original video (https://vimeo.com/169046276) and see the music and list of movies in the description

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      1. Yess! thank you! 🙂

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  5. Is it possible for you guys top post two videos (a CLEAN option) if you must post a pornographic/erotic video? Love the lesson plan but cannot use the video 🙁

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    1. Sorry, but this probably is not going to happen at this point :/ So far we’ve been posting lesson plans that we use in practice and I don’t remember a time when we created a lesson with 2 different authentic material/video – maybe only when we wanted to change the video to a lower/higher level.

      Neverthless, we’ll keep this in mind and think about providing some alternative for more controversial materials.

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  6. Hello! Thank you for this amazing worksheet. We usually don’t talk about art let alone colours, with my students. Thank you.

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    1. 😊

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  7. I’m disappointed that this site, which has proven such an excellent resource in the past, chose to publish this lesson with this video. It’s really inappropriate.

    The worksheet is usable, but the video choice displays very poor judgement and merits no respect among educators. As a result, a potentially great lesson plan is made irrelevant by inappropriate content. Not all ESL students are adults, and not even all adults will be comfortable with the content of the video, especially in more conservative countries. Adding warnings about adult content simply betrays that you knew better and decided to do it anyway.

    Also, “femity” and “erotism” may be words used in the video, but they are not words appropriate for the level of the lesson, which is B2, so the explanations in the teacher worksheet are also beside the point.

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    1. Definitely, it’s not a standard lesson material and as we emphasised it’s only for adults, and it’s our job as teachers to decide whether this kind of material is appropriate for the class we teach and their culture. We added the warning because we’ve got some comments that people where surprised, however, we believe that everyone should watch a video and check out worksheets before showing them to students during the class. Personally, I’ve done this lesson plan with a lot of my adult students and they’ve enjoyed it, and I didn’t get any comments about those few scenes there (even when I asked them myself after our lesson).

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  8. That is why you have to check your materials prior to your lesson, Olga.

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  9. Great lesson! Just one thing I would like to point out. In my native language we consider these idioms “white lie” and “black sheep” to be racist. Does it have the same connotation in English?

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    1. That’s super interesting! Would you mind sharing what language you talk about? And answering your questions: these expressions are not considered racist in English – neither their origins or their usage nowadays has anything to do with racial bias. That’s true for both Polish and English AFAIK.

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  10. I loved the song that makes the background to the video, I am just using it right now, later more comments, quite a good job i can say ahead of time.

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    1. Thanks! Looking forward to your feedback!

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  11. Thank you for the warning! I choose not to use it especially being a female teacher in an all male classroom. It’s a good video, pity another appropriate one couldn’t be used.

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