ESL English Lesson Plan

This is a free ESL English lesson plan with listening exercises, vocabulary, idioms and fun games. The listening is based on a co-production between the BBC and Horizons called 'Battle of the Brains'.

How do you measure intelligence? Most psychologists agree that conventional IQ tests don't reveal the whole truth. To find out what other types of intelligence we have and what it says about us, 7 experts in their field were put through some unusual tests to measure their intelligence. Who will come out tops? The chess master, the dramatist, the musical prodigy, the dramatist, the quantum physicist, the artist or the wall street trader?

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan


This ESL English lesson plan is suitable for upper-intermediate, advanced and proficiency level students (B2, C1 and C2). It can be used for conversation classes, vocabulary lessons, one on one and group classes.

Language Focus

This lesson plan starts off with a discussion about how the students see intelligence. Are the current IQ tests accurate? Are there better ways of measuring intelligence? Where do we get our intelligence from?

You will have lots of fun as you do some of the IQ tests from the video clip with your students. They need to try and get a cork out of an empty wine bottle, do a mensa test, show their creative skills, and think of as many uses for a sock as they can. There are some vocabulary words from the listening to learn, and then of course they get to watch the video clip and answer some comprehension questions.

The lesson finishes off with some idioms with the word 'brain'. My students loved this lesson, and couldn't wait to get home and finish watching the video clip to find out which of the contestants won the intelligence challenge J

If you liked this ESL English lesson plan, why don't you try some of my other free reading and listening lessons?

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