The world as we know it has changed immeasurably during 2020 as a result of the worldwide catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The question in everyone's mind, from the smallest rural towns to the planet's most populous cities, is... When will a vaccine be available?
This upper-intermediate lesson plan examines the practicalities of this burning question, presented by Bill Gates who is actively funding research and development into finding this precious, highly sought-after treatment for one of humanity's most deadly diseases to date. If you sign up with Fluentize, this lesson is available to download completely free of charge until September 8th for use as a class printed handout or online for interactive use. Here is the link to the Fluentize lesson page below:
The lesson opens with discussion questions about the effects of COVID-19 and students' understanding of vaccines and vaccine trials.
Vocabulary related to vaccines and viruses is introduced, including words like "pathogen" and "receptors". New verbs are explained, including "inject", "multiply" and "prevent" along with new adjectives like "urgent" and "exposed".
Students can then watch a video where Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates explains the concept of how coronaviruses work and different methods being explored to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time. There are then a series of questions based on the video content including a true/false exercise and choosing numbers stated by Bill in the video to fit the correct statement.
Here you can find the first half of the lesson plan with these Preview and Viewing activities described above.
You can navigate to the full lesson plan materials on Fluentize to download everything for free until Tuesday, September 8th. The post-viewing activities contain a section on prepositions that Bill Gates used in the video, and then the grammar section includes an exercise filling in the correct pronoun used in sentences heard in the video, and a practice section on the usage of the structure "get + object + infinitive". This is based on a statement explained by Bill in the video:
"The idea of a vaccine is to get your body to make a lot of antibodies that can take these viruses and actually kill them."
The final activities in this pertinent current events lesson offer the student an opportunity to discuss various related topics, such as: what positive effects have come out of the pandemic, how cautiously they currently live their lives and imagining what life will be like after the production of a working vaccine. There is a bonus writing task at the end expanding on the idea of imagining life post-COVID-19.
Hope you and your students enjoy!
- Jake from Fluentize