Happy Ice Cream Month!

As we transition from June to July, we go from pride month to ice cream month. I think it deserves a lesson that celebrates both of these reasons.

I have met many ESL teachers who often bring their passion into their classrooms -travelling, crafts, learning languages or even space! It made me think – what is my thing. Well, there are a few things – crafts, knitting, travelling and, of course, ice cream! Anytime is good to celebrate this delicious invention, but I think that ice cream is an appropriate summer or pre-summer topic. So if you teach in July and you can afford a theme lesson, why don’t you check out my lesson plan about Ben & Jerry’s, their values and of course their tasty treats!

This lesson is made of a lesson plan, a listening worksheet, a project worksheet and video transcripts. All the files are available for free at the end of the post!

This B2+ level class starts with guessing and analysing Ben & Jerry’s slogan peace, love and ice cream. You can ask your students to discuss their favourite ice cream flavours (in general) and if you are one of the lucky ones who lives in a country where this legendary ice cream shop exists, you can even discuss students’ favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavours.

I spent quite a lot of time thinking and searching for the perfect authentic material about ice cream and when I opened a Ben & Jerry’s website it felt like I entered an ESL heaven. I found two overview videos, one about the company and the other one about its values. Continue the class talking about the general company values, the conversation should go to fair trade and animal welfare, plus any additional topics that students come up with. Watch the video Ben & Jerry’s overview and check if students’ predictions were correct. In case of any issues you can watch it again with subtitles or go over the transcript available for free below.

This first video is filled with great vocabulary. Your learners will not only benefit from listening to a native speaker, but you can easily turn it into a class about food related idioms, for example to bite off more than you can chew or to lick the problem!

The class then moves to the main video that focuses on company’s values. Before watching Ben & Jerry’s values, students work in pairs and predict the missing words. Watch the video and check the answers. To get to the main part of the listening, give your learners some time to read and understand the questions. It is also a good idea to read the video transcript before and mention any vocabulary that may interfere with full understanding of the video.

Discussing one’s values and beliefs can be quite heavy for some of your learners, why don’t you finish on a high note? Talk about the most unusual ice cream names, including the ones from Ben & Jerry’s – for sure your students are familiar with some of them! Look at the top 10 Ben & Jerry’s flavours and think of the list of ingredients that can be found in each ice cream. You can make it into a competitive game by giving points for one correct ingredient! Then let your students rank the flavours and check the answers found at Ben & Jerry’s blog post with their annual ice cream ranking!

After bombarding your students with such creative names and abundance of ingredients, there is no better way of finishing the class than by letting your students create and name their own ice cream flavours!

Happy Ice Cream month – make sure to celebrate every day!

Go ahead and download all the lesson files for free!


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