Lesson Plan – Manipulation (2 lessons of 50 mins)
Teachers: Carmen Aguado Madrigal (Head of the English Department) and Rosanna Whitehead
The school is involved with the Comenius project ‘Seeds of Peace’ which includes the topic
of manipulation. My co-ordinator and I discussed how we could plan a lesson related to this
topic. I based a large proportion of the lessons on speaking activities due to my role as the
‘conversation assistant’. We gave this class to a number of different sized groups, between
10-25 students, and a multilingual group as part of the Comenius exchange. The lesson was
aimed at mixed ability students in ‘primero de bachillerato’, 16-17 year olds. In the pair
work and the group work we made sure that there was a range of abilities in each group so
that the students could help each other.
Introduction - Speaking activity Class work (3 minutes)
The teacher asked the class ‘What does manipulation mean?’, ‘Do you think that we are
manipulated in today’s society?’
The History of Propaganda – Reading exercise Class work (5 minutes)
Different students read out loud these two slides, which included information about the
propaganda used under Hitler’s dictatorship. The second slide showed an example of a Nazi
Vocabulary – Listening and Speaking activity Class Work (5 minutes)
The teacher reviewed some key vocabulary for this topic with the class.
The teacher wrote a list of vocabulary on the board: persuasive, influence, influential, eye-
catching, advertising, commercials, stereotypes. The teacher went through each one and
asked the class the meaning of the word. If they did not know the meaning, the teacher
would explain the word to them.
War Propaganda - Speaking activity Group work
Students were put in small groups to
discuss what the messages of these war
posters were. They discussed who the
target audience was and how effective
The teacher then asked each group to
share one of their ideas with the class.
The media - Listening activity Individual Work (12 minutes)
Students watched the video in the hyperlink:
It showed a selection of different commercials advertising different products. Students had
to answer the questions to the video. The video was played twice.
The teacher went through the answers as a class.
Posters – Writing Activity (10/15 minutes) Pair
In pairs, students chose one of the
posters to describe. They wrote about:
What is the poster advertising? How is
it trying to convince the audience? Do
you think that the poster is persuasive?
The teacher asked for feedback from a
few different pairs to share ideas with
Introduction – Listening Activity Class Work (2 minutes)
The teacher summarised what we talked about last lesson, how the media can manipulate
us, with an example of one of the posters that was studied in the previous lesson.
Vocabulary Review – Listening and Speaking Activity Class Work (5 minutes)
The teacher wrote all of the key vocabulary from the previous lesson on the board and for
each word asked for someone in the class to describe the meaning.
Writing and Speaking Activity - Pair Work (15 minutes)
Students were asked: ‘In what other ways are we manipulated by society?’
In pairs, students discussed and jotted down some ideas about what ways you think we are
- The internet
- Family and friends
- Religious groups
The teacher got a few pairs to feedback
some of their ideas to the rest of the
Speaking Activity - Group Work (25 minutes)
The teacher divided the class into
groups of 4 or 5 people
The students’ task was to manipulate the teachers.
They had to persuade the teachers that the exam that they were supposed to sit that week
should be postponed to the following week.
Students planned and prepared a 3 minute speech to give in front of the class.
10 minutes preparation, 15 minutes listening to the different speeches.
Conclusion – Speaking Activity Class Work (3 minutes)
The teacher asked the class for final thoughts on the topic of manipulation. For example:
- What do you think you are most manipulated by?
- Have these lessons changed the way you think about advertisements/the internet/the