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ESL Oscars Lesson Plan

Oscars Voting Explainer » Ranked Choice Voting

Student Level


Video Length: 2:31

Updated on: 02/29/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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ESL Oscars Lesson Plan Description


This ESL Oscars lesson plan provides activities, worksheets, and digital materials tailored for upper intermediate B2 to advanced C1 students. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to understand how Oscars voting works and how the Academy chooses its nominees. Students will also be able to give a formal speech accepting an award at an awards ceremony of their choice.


In the preview of this ESL lesson plan on the Oscars, students engage in a general discussion about the Oscars. They talk about any personal experiences they have watching them, as well as the impact of winning an Oscar. There is one question focused on "movie buffs", and students can talk about whether they see themselves as movie buffs or not. Then, they match the first part of some phrases related to nouns. These phrases are relevant to the Oscars and how winners are chosen in the Oscars. The final part of this section has students imagine that they're a member of the "Movie Snacks Awards Committee". They rank some movie snacks in order of their preference. Then, they compare these rankings with their classmate's/ teacher's. They discuss how they would decide which snack is the winner. 


The video featured in this lesson plan explains the ranked-choice voting system used for Academy Awards nominations and Best Picture selection. It illustrates how this system works by the example of choosing the best movie snack. In the video, it's emphasized that they redistribute votes until a majority is reached. It clarifies that Academy members rank their preferences, with the process continuing until winners are determined.

After viewing the video, students do a few listening comprehension exercises. They answer questions about the main differences between winner-take-all and ranked-choice systems, as well as identify other contexts where ranked-choice voting is used. In the next part, students put the steps in order on how ranked-choice voting systems work.


After watching the video, students discuss some questions directly related the Oscars and Academy Awards. They use some adjectives to describe the qualities of the ranked-choice system. They also discuss whether they would like to be Academy Awards members. In the second part, students watch and analyze an Oscar acceptance speech by Sam Rockwell. They then choose some acceptance speech phrases that either express recognition and which express feelings.


In the activation phase, students can come up with an idea for an award ceremony. They get to determine categories, voting systems, and symbolic awards. They imagine they've won the award and must give a speech accepting the award. In the speech, students:

• Express their feelings and give recognition using some provided phrases.

• Tell a story or make a joke during your speech. (optional bonus)

There is also a second option for students to engage in a discussion about successful award ceremonies, controversial moments, and their interest in attending the Oscars.


Comprehensive Understanding: The lesson plan provides a complete overview of how Oscars voting works and how the Academy chooses its nominees. The lesson ensures that students gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Critical Thinking: The discussion following the video encourages students to analyze and evaluate the qualities of the ranked-choice system. They can use critical thinking skills as they consider its reliability, equity, and efficiency.

Entertaining Topic: The lesson plan is based on an entertaining topic of the Oscars, which can naturally spark students' interest and enthusiasm. This engaging topic motivates students to actively discuss, analyze interesting videos, and even imagine themselves in the context of prestigious award ceremonies.

Video Description

This video dives into how the Academy's ranked voting system works and how the Oscars are decided. They use some popular movie snacks to help illustrate ranked choice voting!

Lesson Activities


Oscars, Academy Awards, Movies


Short Answers, Preview Discussion Check, Put Steps In Order


Phrases, Adjectives


Designing An Awards Ceremony, Acceptance Speech, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Oscars, Academy Awards, Movies

Lesson Preview

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