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Smart City ESL Lesson Plan

Welcome To Smart Cities Of The Future

Student Level


Video Length: 3:45

Updated on: 11/28/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Smart City ESL Lesson Plan Description


This smart city ESL lesson plan contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for C1 advanced students. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to describe a variety of aspects of a future smart city and understand the technological elements of smart cities. They’ll also be able to talk about, ask questions, and use the interrogative modal passive formation in the context of a town hall meeting about smart cities and urban development.


This smart city ESL lesson plan begins by students describing how they expect smart cities of the future (year 2040 - 2050) to look. They’ll imagine and describe certain elements of the city — such as office buildings, public spaces, transportation, food, health, government, and public safety. After that, students discuss some questions about smart cities. There is an activity containing some adjectives in which students can categorize into boxes, depending on whether they describe positive or negative characteristics of smart cities.


Students watch an animated video about an imaginary, future smart city. The video covers the technological components of smart cities and how everything will be synchronized. This includes components such as hydroponics, inbuilt sensor technology, CCTV, HD cameras, and more. The listening activity consists of writing and discussing notes about each part of the smart city. There are also some questions asked at the end of the video, and students should complete the questions as they hear them.


The post-viewing exercises consist of discussion questions, mainly on the ones the video poses at the end. Then, in one of those questions, students analyze the interrogative modal passive voice. This structure is found in the following question:

“Can governments and corporations be trusted with such huge data sets?”

Students answer some questions about the grammatical structure of this quote. Then, there is an activity for students to convert and rewrite some more sentences using this same grammatical structure.


The communicative activity featured in this lesson prompts students to choose any city and imagine it’s year 2040. They’re the leader(s) of an urban development team, and they must discuss what exactly they would develop about 5 aspects of the city, and how. The second step of this activity puts everything in context — they present their city development plans and ideas to the public at a community town hall Q&A meeting and respond to the residents’ (other students / teachers) questions and concerns.


This lesson plan on smart cities contains a bonus reading activity featuring a letter written by a concerned resident of a future smart city. Students read the letter, and then discuss some questions about it for comprehension.

Benefits of using this ESL lesson plan about smart cities:

Interaction: The lesson plan incorporates imaginative and engaging activities such as envisioning and describing smart cities, watching an animated video, and participating in a town hall meeting simulation. This keeps students actively involved in the learning process.

Grammar Focus: The lesson plan addresses advanced grammatical structures, particularly the interrogative modal passive voice. This provides students with an opportunity to analyze, understand, and practice a more complex language structure.

Bonus Reading: The inclusion of a bonus reading activity adds variety and depth to the lesson, allowing students to explore the topic further through the perspective of a resident in a smart city. This enhances comprehension skills and provides additional discussion points.

Video Description

Envision future smart cities where technology optimizes office buildings, transportation, food, health, and public safety. Does the convenience-versus-privacy dilemma make you question the trustworthiness of entities handling vast personal data? Find out more about what smart cities of the future will look like.

Lesson Activities


Smart Cities, Technology


Aspects Of Smart Cities, Finish Writing Questions


Adjectives (describing positive/negative smart city aspects)


Interrogative Modal Passive Voice


Urban Development: Town Hall Meeting, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Smart Cities, Technologies

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