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Summer ESL Lesson Plan

Jim Gaffigan & His Non-Existent Plans For The Summer

Student Level


Video Length: 2:38

Updated on: 06/12/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Summer ESL Lesson Plan Description


This summer ESL lesson plan provides activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials designed for upper intermediate/advanced B2-C1 students. In this lesson, students will:

  • Discuss varying opinions about summer and express their own perspectives
  • Analyze and compare viewpoints using sarcasm and humor
  • Practice using idiomatic expressions and phrases related to summer
  • Engage in conversations and role-plays to activate language skills in real-life contexts


In the first part of this summer ESL lesson plan, students read quotes from different people expressing their opinions about summer. They then discuss whose opinion is the most uncommon and which one resonates with them the most, sharing their own views on summer.

In the second part, students discuss whether they agree, disagree, or partially agree with several statements about summer, explaining their reasons for each response. This helps them express their thoughts on the pressures and expectations surrounding summer activities.

In the third part, students read a dialogue between Robyn and Jim, where Jim's responses are sarcastic. They discuss what "sarcasm" means and come up with other examples of sarcastic responses to Robyn's questions. This activity introduces them to the tone and humor they will encounter in the video.


In the first part of the viewing activity, students watch a video featuring Jim Gaffigan's humorous take on summer. They then choose whether Jim agrees, disagrees, or does not give an opinion on various statements about summer. They compare Jim's opinions with their own discussed in the preview activity.

In the second part, students answer questions based on the video. They discuss what most summer destinations involve, how people in the Northeast talk about the beach, what Jim complains about regarding the beach, and what his favorite thing to do on a beautiful summer day is. This activity helps students practice listening comprehension and detail extraction.


In the first part of the viewing follow-up, students discuss Jim's perception of summer and describe his views using adjectives like "humorous" or "preposterous." They also evaluate whether Jim's use of humor effectively challenges conventional ideas about summer.

In the second part, students complete phrases or idioms using provided words, ensuring the sentences maintain their original meanings. They then create their own sentences about summer or another season using two of the full phrases or idioms from the previous activity. The goal of this section is for students to learn some fun and relevant phases and idioms related to summer season. 


In the activation section, students participate in "Summertime State of Mind: Hot Topic Talks." They can choose either Option A or Option B.

Option A involves discussing various talking points related to summer, such as memorable summer experiences, activities or projects they are set on doing, traditions they enjoy, favorite summer drinks or meals, and bucket list activities. This activity encourages students to use the vocabulary and idioms they've learned in personalized conversations.

Option B presents "Would you rather...?" scenarios related to summer. Students discuss their preferences between two choices, such as having a well-paying but boring summer job versus a fun but low-paying one, crossing off a bucket list destination versus doing smaller activities, and more. This activity promotes critical thinking and decision-making while practicing conversational skills.


Engaging Content

The lesson is designed for upper intermediate/advanced B2-C1 students, with relatable and timely topics about summer. 

Vocabulary Building

Students learn and use idiomatic expressions and phrases related to summer. This can help enhance their language skills and help them sound more natural in conversation.

Critical Thinking

The activities encourage students to express their own opinions, analyze different perspectives, and engage in meaningful discussions.

Listening Comprehension

The viewing activity with Jim Gaffigan's humorous take on summer helps students practice listening for detail and understanding spoken English in a real-life context.

Humor and Sarcasm

By analyzing and discussing sarcastic responses, students improve their ability to recognize and use humor and sarcasm in English.

Video Description

You won't find Jim Gaffigan bursting with excitement this summer season. Why not? Well, for one, making summer plans is stressful. Not to mention, the endless sand and bugs you'll encounter on the beach.

Lesson Activities


Summer Season, Sarcasm


Agree/Disagree Opinions, Short Answers


Phrases/Idiomatic Expressions (related to summer)


Summertime State Of Mind: Hot Topic Talks, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Summer Season

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