The Milestones of Life (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1)
Lesson Topics: milestones, personal growth, societal changes
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: life-milestones-advanced-lesson-092023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • As a warm-up activity, students plot major life milestones on a timeline. Next, they try to predict the content of the reading passage, which is based on an article by Mike Bundrant entitled "12 Most Important Milestones in Life to Grow Through." The reading passage covers six points from the article.
  • After a read-and-recall activity, students answer comprehension questions, do a vocabulary-matching activity, and then create questions using the new vocabulary.
  • The first speaking activity is a debate on whether focusing on achieving milestones has a negative or positive effect on people. Afterward, students discuss acts that would enable them to leave their comfort zone.
  • The lesson has one roleplay between a parent and an 18-year-old about joining the Peace Corps.
  • After a charades activity, the lesson introduces five idioms and asks students to use them while discussing milestones.
  • The lesson closes with final discussion questions and a review of collocations.

A photograph of a driver's license

ADVANCED (C1) EFL Lesson Plan on Milestones

Warm-up: A milestone is an important event that marks a major change in a person's life.

0          10        20        30        40        50        60        70        80        90        100

Task: Add major milestones to the above line (or do it on paper). After, share your timeline with your class/teacher. Discuss the cultural importance of each milestone and the celebrations tied with it.

Pre-reading Predictions: The below article does not focus on traditional milestones such as getting a car. Rather, it describes milestones that help a person grow and find their place in the world. What six milestones do you think the article might mention?

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-- Lesson plan on milestones written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). ChatGPT was used to generate some answer keys. 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.

Possible answers to follow-up questions:

  • Traveling to a new culture and doing something selfless would help someone learn to care about others. (Other answers may be possible as well.)
  • It can contribute to a person’s growth in several ways. Firstly, it teaches them to feel accomplished and rewarded for doing work. Also having money teaches people how to spend it wisely.
  • It is a bittersweet moment because it has both negative and positive effects. On the negative side, we no longer see our family as much and have to take care of ourselves. On the positive side, we gain freedom.

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

Vocabulary Extension Answers: a-to take the plunge, b-over the moon, c-to have butterflies in your stomach, d-a turning point, e-to get cold feet

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

 [1] Original article here:

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