Genius inventions lesson plan

In this lesson students discuss the usefulness of various 2016 inventions. In the second stage of the lesson, students work with word formation exercises, modelled after Cambridge Advanced Use of English Part 3. The lesson is aimed at B2+ students, especially those who are planning to take the Cambridge Advanced exam. The class takes around 45 minutes to complete.

The Task

The lesson is based on the ideas featured in this Buzzfeed article.

Step 1

Start by asking your students what they remember best about 2016 and try to steer their brainstorming in the direction of technology and science.

Step 2

Tell your students you want to discuss different 2016 inventions. You need this presentation.

Show your students slides 2-4 from the presentation and ask them to try identify what they see in the photos.

Step 3

Go to slides 5-6 and reveal the actual 2016 inventions. In each case, try to discuss the following with your students:

  • How useful is it?
  • What needs does it meet?
  • What is its practical application?
  • Who would invest money to develop this idea further?
  • Who would buy it?
  • How likely is it to revolutionise the world?

Depending on your class size, students might discuss the questions in pairs/small groups and you might hold a class discussion afterwards

Step 4

Introduce the next stage of the lesson i.e. the word formation exercise.

Ask your students to come up with 4-5 adjectives they would use to describe the inventions you had discussed. Board those which lend themselves best to demonstrate how word formation in English works. Students come up with adverbs, nouns, and verbs (if possible) formed from the adjectives:

  • creative –> creatively –> creativity –> create
  • revolutionary  –> revolution –> revolutionise

Step 5

Now that your students know what is coming, distribute the worksheets and ask them to work on them individually for about 7-10 minutes. Then, students compare their answers with a partner. Check the answers together. Board new words, if possible try to come up with more parts of speech belonging to the same family, see whether your students can use them in sentences.

Step 6

Since your students learned more facts about each invention, you might see whether they have some new opinions regarding the usefulness and practicality of the 2016 tech novels.

Personal Experience

I have taught this class to my adult and teenage students (Cambridge Advanced exam course) and it has sparked some intense discussion about the direction in which the technology is going and the need to keep creating and inventing new concepts/devices. The word formation exercise was nothing new but the fact it fits seamlessly into the lesson made it a bit less of the usual exam preparation drill.

Take a look at some of my favourite lesson plans for advanced students here, here, and here.



Worksheet + answers


  1. It is imposssible to guess – how did you find such inventions??? The task is excellent! Thank you for the lesson 🙂 By the way, Happy New Year!

    • That’s the magic of Buzzfeed, I guess. Glad you like it. Happy New Year to you too!

    • Thank you, Ula! Have you tried it yet? So far, my students haven’t been particularly keen on the spoon idea 😉

  2. Wow! a really great lesson. I will try to use it with my less advanced students. We’re doing passive now so I’d like to adapt it a little. I wonder how you find such an interesting material?! All the best’))

    • Thank you, Joanna! I hope your lesson goes well. As for the materials, everything comes from the websites or YT channels I follow and use on a daily basis. I’ve listed some of the YT channels in two posts on myblog if you’re interested.

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