Mystery Travel Destinations (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate (B2)
Lesson Topics: travel, tourist destinations
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: travel-mystery-destinations-upper-intermediate-092023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students match images to vocabulary that will appear in the reading passage.
  • The reading passage presents descriptions of eight travel destinations. As students read, they are to guess the location being described. The destinations are fairly well known; most people should be able to get most of them.
  • 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 tourism has a positive impact on local cultures. Next, students try writing their own "mystery destination" using some of the structures from the reading passage.
  • The lesson has two roleplays. The first is between an unhappy hotel guest and a hotel clerk; the next is between a travel blogger and a travel magazine editor.
  • After the roleplays, students discuss "the best and worst" lists related to travel. (Note to teachers: If you want to avoid asking students to discuss 'the worst tourists' in terms of nationalities, you could have students list the poor behaviors of the worst type of tourists.)
  • After a final vocabulary review, the lesson closes with final discussion questions and a review of collocations.

An image of someone putting a pin on a location on a map

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE (B2/C1) Lesson Plan on Mystery Travel Destinations

Warm-up Questions

  1. Where was the last place you visited on holiday?
  2. Where would you travel if money were no object (i.e. if you had a lot of money)?
  3. What's the most famous place you know in Europe? Asia? The Americas?

Pre-reading vocabulary review with images
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-- Lesson plan on mystery travel destinations written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). ChatGPT was used to generate a draft of the passage and 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:

  1. They can party at the carnival in Rio.
  2. It means that the Bosporus Strait exists as a dividing line between the European and Asian continents.
  3. Angkor Wat and Macchu Picchu have ruins.
  4. Rio De Janeiro and Santorini would be good choices for beaches.

Image matching: First-mosque, second-ruin, third-fjord, fourth-canyon, fifth-gladiator, seventh-strait

Mystery Travel Destination Answers: 1-Rome, 2-Rio De Janeiro, 3-Istanbul, 4-New Zealand, 5-The Grand Canyon, USA, 6-Macchu Picchu, Peru, 7-Santorini, Greece, 8-Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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

Vocabulary Review Answers: see original passage

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

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