Passive Income (Advanced Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1/C2)
Lesson Topics: passive income, financial gurus, finance
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: passive-income-finance-advanced-lesson-102023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students read a 354-word passage about passive income. The passage presents four passive income streams and a summary of The Plain Bagel's view that many passive income strategies promoted online are in fact scams.
  • After a read-and-recall activity, students answer comprehension questions, do a vocabulary-matching activity, and then create questions using the new vocabulary.
  • For speaking activities, first there are two roleplays. The first pertains to an owner convincing the Home Owners' Association of her building to allow short-term rentals (Airbnb). The second roleplay has one student try to sell an online course to another. The final speaking activity is somewhat of a shark-tank scenario where teams try to pitch the best passive income plan to a client.
  • As a bonus, the lesson has a short 90-second YouTube clip of Charlie Munger giving his views of (some) modern-day financial gurus.
  • Next, students discuss a funny social media post by the "Side Hustle King" and some famous quotes.
  • After a final vocabulary review, the lesson closes with final discussion questions and a review of collocations.

A man with a video camera in front of a laptop

ADVANCED (C1/C2) Lesson Plan on Passive Income

Warm-up Questions

  1. How do you get money to survive? If you had to earn an extra $100 a week, how would you?
  2. What is passive income and how does it differ from income earned by working at a company?
  3. How many ways to make passive income can you think of? Make a list with your partner.

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-- Lesson plan on passive income written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). ChatGPT was used to check passages for errors and generate 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. The means buying shares in companies that give part of their profits, called dividends, to shareholders. An investor gets paid the dividend for each share he owns of the company.
  2. (Examples might be for niches that could earn high advertising dollars, such as custom jewelry, watches, cars, etc.)
  3. Affiliate Marketing
  4. It requires starting off with a large sum of money.
  5. Markets become oversupplied with many people selling similar items.
  6. The passage discusses various passive income strategies and critiques them, emphasizing that some may not be as profitable as they seem.

Vocabulary Answers: 1-j, 2-b, 3-h, 4-a, 5-L, 6-g, 7-f, 8-e, 9-k, 10-I, 11-c, 12-d

Vocabulary Review Answers: See original passage

Collocation Answers: 1-a, 2-d, 3-f, 4-c, 6-e

[1] Consulted sources include and




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