Listening Lesson Plan

60 Facts about our Awesome World

This listening lesson plan for advanced and proficiencey ESL is based on an interesting, fast-paced 5 minute video produced by the BBC, which presents 60 fascinating points about our world. The lesson includes a gap-fill exercise, listening for gist and some idioms about our world.

There is a free downloadable print out of this lesson plan at the bottom of this page.


Get the students to write a list of 10 reasons as to why the world is awesome. Get them to discuss their lists.


Hand out the gap fill exercise to the students, and then get them to look through numbers 1,2, 13, 17 and 20, and guess what they think the missing words are.

Gap Fill Exercise

  1. There are approximately _____________ bacteria living on every square centimetre of our skin.
  2. On average, your skin renews itself every _____________.
  3. Frogs shed their skin on a regular basis to ______________________. Some do it every day. And after they’ve pulled it off, they _____________________ it.
  4. But frogs can’t swallow without _____________________ because they use their _____________________  to help push food into their stomachs.
  5. The stomach of many starfish is actually ______________ out of their mouths, then they _______________  their prey, pre-digest it, and suck the whole thing back in again.
  6. Starfish are not actually _____________.
  7. And killer whales are not ___________ either, they are ___________________________.
  8. And believe it or not, dolphins can call _________________________________________.
  9. Dolphins can also ___________________ themselves in the __________________, as can elephants, chimpanzees, and their close relatives bonobos.
  10. Who resolve their differences through sex rather than _____________________.
  11. Bacteria ___________________ by _______________________________, and they can do it so fast, that theoretically a single bacteria could produce more _______________________ than there are protons in the entire universe.
  12. If this 5p was the sun, then this __________________________ would be the earth, and they’d be about that far apart.
  13. There are thought to be ________________________________ stars in our galaxy.
  14. If this 5p were the sun, and this 5p were the next nearest star, they’d be ___________________ apart, that’s 250 miles.
  15. NASA estimates that one object of space junk returns to the earth _______________________.
  16. If this 10p coin was our _________________, the Milky Way, and this 10p coin was our nearest big neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, they’d actually only be about that far apart.
  17. It’s thought that there’s a ________________________ stars in the observable universe. that’s a 1, followed by ________________ zeros.
  18. It’s estimated that there are _____________________________ atoms in every human cell.
  19. And there’s thought to be _______________________ cells in the average human body.
  20. We lose about __________________________________ skin cells every single minute. But while it’s a waste product for us, dead skin is the main food source for mites.


Get the students to listen to the first 20 facts from the following video, and fill in the missing words. Play it twice if necessary:

Once they have listened to the video 2 or 3 times, get the students to take turns in writing the answers on the board. This will help you check the words and their spelling.

Listening Continued

Play the remaining 40 facts and get the students to note down as many as they can. Find out how many they can come up with (you can give them some time beforehand to work out a strategy to work as a team in order to accomplish this).


Write the following idioms on the board, but leave out the underlined words. Get the students to try and guess the missing words, and then go through the definitions with them.


there is a world of difference

to make a world of difference

to be dead to the world

to be worlds apart

to do somebody a world of good

to think the world of something

out of this world


there are 2 very different things

to improve something

deeply asleep

completely different

to make someone feel much better

to be very fond of something or someone

wonderful and exciting

Write the idioms onto flashcards, and get the students to take turns choosing one and drawing it on the board for the others to guess. After that, the student who did the drawing has to ask another student in the class a question with their idiom.

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan

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