Lesson Plan: Zoom across an Icelandic glacier

Since I moved my teaching entirely online, I have been experimenting with different online tools and websites to see if I can find something to use on a regular basis. Wordwall (great but most of my students said they needed a printable copy to revise at home), Baamboozle (love it!), WheelDecide (one of my most used tools), Jamboard (kind of a free alternative to Wordwall), Padlet (good for webinars)… And obviously, I have also tried various resources that provide lesson plans and online exercises based on authentic videos – a great way to save time on adapting YouTube videos if you are a very busy teacher (which I sometimes am).

This lesson is based on one of the videos I found on the Sensations English website. What I especially like about this resource is that each video comes in 5 levels and can therefore be used with many students at once as long as you differentiate the tasks. I used it with my B1+ student (I went for the B2 version of the video to add a bit of a challenge) and it turned out to be a really nice and engaging lesson, so I hope your students enjoy it too if you decide to give it a go.

Level: B1+-B2

Length: 60-80 minutes

Framework: Integrated skills lesson (vocabulary, listening, speaking)

Mode: 121/online (but can be adapted to groups/offline)

Materials: these slides, this video


1) We usually start with checking homework if it was a speech or analysing and correcting mistakes if it was some kind of written exercise.
2) Slide 1: Student looks at the map and tries to identify the country.
3) Slide 2: Student reads the facts about Iceland and decides if they are true or false [all true]. You can briefly discuss each fact and ask your student to compare it to their country. This is an optional stage and if you do decide to do it then your lesson time will most likely be 80 minutes. Personally, my student enjoyed this stage and was happy to talk about how these things are different or similar in Japan.
If you want to make it in 60 minutes then skip this stage, go straight to Slide 3 and elicit from your student what is in the picture.
4) Slide 4: Introduce the glacier to the student. Make sure you pronounce its name exactly as it is pronounced in the video, i.e. [ˈlʌnjəˌkʊɫ].

1) Slide 5: Student looks at the picture and says what it is [a bus]. Explain that the wheels that it moves on are
called tyres (British English) / tires (American English) and drag student’s attention to the name of the bus [Sleipnir]. Again, make sure to pronounce it exactly the same way as in the video, i.e. [ˈʃleɪpnir].
2) Slide 6: Student matches the words to their definitions. If you wish to add extra vocabulary practice, you can ask student some questions using the new words/expressions, e.g. Is there anything you are concerned about these days? Have you ever seen a spider that can be described as gigantic? etc.

1) Student watches the video for the first time and explains what the Sleipnir bus is used for. You can play it with subtitles if your student is closer to B1+ level.
2) Slide 7: Student watches the video again and answers the questions. Replay 2-3 times if necessary.

1) Slide 8: Student looks at the instructions. They have some time to prepare (I usually ask my students how much time they think they will need). They can google the information if they need (in their L1) and get some pictures to demonstrate. They should talk for at least 3 minutes, better 5.
2) Teacher’s feedback on content and accuracy.
3) If time allows, let your student repeat the task taking your feedback into consideration. For groups, you can do pair/group presentations followed by whole-class summaries (i.e. each person summaries their partner’s talk to the rest of the group).

HOMEWORK: either a refined version of the task (if there was no time for the second try in the lesson) or a similar speech about another tour; 3 online exercises from those accompanying the video (student chooses which exercises depending on their perceived needs).

This is it 🙂 If you do use this lesson plan, I’d be happy to hear your impressions.


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