April Fools' Day, C1 CAE

April Fools’ Day-themed C1 speaking

Is it April Fools’ Day or April Fool’s Day? I’ve been researching that for a bit too long and still don’t have an answer to this burning question. What I do know, though, is that I have been working on another Cambridge-style speaking exam lesson plan, so you all can take a breather and discuss what truly matters on 1st April – pranks.

I tend to follow my lesson plan creation based on the needs of my current students. Recently, I’ve been blessed with a few C1 students whose interests influence my recent blog posts, including this one!

CAE speaking exam is made of four parts. In the first part, students talk about their general experiences with April Fools’ Day, in the second part they choose two pictures and answer questions about pranks, in the third part they discuss in pairs the reasons why people may dislike April Fools’ Day, which is then followed by a few opinion-based questions about this day. You can get the examiner’s notes and the presentation at the end of the post.

Even though this is not a part of the official CAE exam, I thought that including a short guessing vocabulary game, may be useful for the next parts of the class. Students are presented with short definitions of April Fools’ Day-related words and try to guess them. This time I included the number of letters in the style of a hangman game, so if you have some spare time, you can assign one word per student and let them have some fun with it. Some of the words in that part are funny bone, to fool, shenanigans and to cackle. Finish by asking about April Fools’ Day experience and the way it is normally celebrated in their countries.

In the next part, students are presented with three pictures and two questions that they need to answer in about a minute. The first set of three pictures focuses on three different types of pranks a whoopee cushion, a kick me sign and a fake pregnancy test. Student A chooses two pictures and discusses why people choose to prank someone in this way and how the pranksters feel during the act. Remind the second student to listen to their colleague and get ready for their question. Candidate B has 30 seconds to discuss which of the three pranks they find the funniest.


It’s time to reverse the roles. This time Candidate B looks at three pictures of different reactions to pranks, laughing, crying and being embarrassed. The candidate thinks about the reasons why the people who receive pranks may be feeling this way and what the best reaction to a prank is from the perspective of a prankster. Return the question to Candidate A and ask them how they would react if they got an undesirable reaction to one of their pranks.

Put two students together and present them with an imaginary situation. Say that not everyone may enjoy celebrating April Fools’ Day. Put the question and five reasons why some people may not enjoy being pranked on that day. The reasons include fear of being fooled, pranks that have gone too far, disruption of daily life, insensitive or offensive jokes and the lack of originality. After this two-minute discussion, ask another question and give an additional minute to dtalk about it. Students discuss which of these five reasons would not stop them from pranking their friends.

The exam-style lesson ends with opinion-based questions about April Fools’ Day. I must admit that this part of the lesson planning would normally take me much longer, but thanks to ChatGPT, I created twenty questions and chose the eight best ones in less than 5 minutes!

Click the files below to get the presentation and the examiner’s notes.

Are you celebrating April Fools’ Day in your classroom? What’s your plan for this year? Is it April Fools’ Day or April Fool’s Day?


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