Factfulness about the Future (Advanced Video Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced
Lesson Topic: Reasons for optimism and pessimism about the future presented through a summary of the 2018 book Factfulness 
Skill Focus
: Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 2 hours
Lesson Plan Download: factfulness-the-future-advanced-012023.docx (Note: For the non-video-based lesson at C1 level, view the upper-int. lesson.)
Lesson Overview:

  • After a short warm-up, students try to answer questions about global statistics (e.g. hunger rates, population growth) to determine if they are optimistic or pessimistic about the future.
  • Next, students watch a 5:45 minute YouTube video that summarizes key concepts from the 2018 book Factfulness by Hans Rosling. Post-video activities include comprehension questions and vocabulary questions.
  • Afterward, students debate whether the world will be better or worse, teach each other biases, and then discuss famous quotations. Extension activities are listed as well.
  • All lessons come with warm-up questions and discussion questions.

The front and back cover of Factfulness, the book

ADVANCED Lesson Plan on Factfulness about the Future

Warm-up Questions (Pair Work)

  • Would your friends say that you are an optimistic (positive) or pessimistic (negative) person?
  • Is the world better or worse today than it was when your parents were your age?

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-- Lesson plan on Factfulness about the Future by Matthew Barton of EnglishCurrent.com (copyright). Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. For questions, contact the author.

Comprehension Question Answers

  1. This is someone who is hopeful about the future about recognizes that everything is not going to be perfect (i.e. there is going to be some struggle, and some effort is required)
  2. Media is driven by fake news and advertising. Also, news outlets present an overly negative view of the world.
  3. This view is outdated because the gap that might have existed in the past has almost completely disappeared. The gap instinct is a tendency to divide things into two categories.
  4. The purpose of this data is to show that very few countries are ‘developing’ in this regard. This supports his idea that most countries are more similar than they are different.
  5. The book is an example of a source of doom and gloom that led to worry about the future.
  6. Rosling argues that the rate of population growth is declining. In some countries, population is declining. He believes this shows that population overall will start to decline sometime soon.
  7. Because these countries are non-democratic, it suggests that democracy is not the only system that can lead to growth or progress.
  8. We can broaden our perspectives by seeking out other viewpoints and multiple sources. Travel can help in this regard.

Vocabulary: 1-g, 2-h, 3-a, 4-i, 5-c, 6-e, 7-k, 8-d, 9-j, 10-b, 11-f


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