Escaping Reality to Avoid Life (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate (B2/C1)
Lesson Topics: Diversions, Escapism
Skill Focus: Reading, Speaking, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.5 hours
Lesson Plan Download: signs-escaping-reality-upper-intermediate-032024.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students read a 241-word passage (based on this C2-level YouTube video) that describes six signs that people are avoiding reality. These signs describe ways that people dive into diversions (technology, jobs) or isolation to avoid life.
  • After a read, recall, retell activity, students complete comprehension questions, a vocabulary-matching exercise, and an activity where they make questions using the target vocabulary.
  • There are two debate topics--one is about the value of escapism and the other the value of modern technology. After, there are two roleplay activities. In the first, a parent tries to persuade his child to go out and 'live life.' In the second, a life coach assesses the escapist tendencies of a stranger.
  • As usual, the lesson has a few famous quotations and then a review of vocabulary and collocations before presenting some final discussion questions.

An image of a child playing video games while it is sunny outside

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE (B2/C1) Lesson Plan on Avoiding Reality


  1. How do you spend most of your time?
  2. What do you wish you spent more time doing?
  3. What do you do when you want to escape from the pressures of life?
  4. Prediction: You are about to read a passage about six ways that people use to avoid facing reality. What ideas do you think will be in the video?

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This lesson plan was created by Matthew Barton of (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. ChatGPT was used to generate answer keys and some famous quotations. For questions, contact the author.

Comprehension Question Answer Key

  • The purpose of the list is to identify signs that indicate people may be trying to escape from reality.
  • The passage warns that spending excessive time in fictional worlds, such as through reading books, can be a way to avoid dealing with real-life situations.
  • Being on autopilot means going through daily routines without being fully aware or engaged, feeling detached from your senses and surroundings.
  • The passage suggests that constantly aiming to be productive can be a form of escapism, used to avoid thinking deeply about anything else or facing real-life issues.
  • Someone might spend large amounts of money as a form of risk-taking behavior, seeking thrill or excitement to feel something real, which can be a way of escaping from reality.

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

Collocations 1-b, 2-f, 3-e, 4-a, 5-c, 6-d

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