Steve Jobs on Ideas & Teamwork (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Advanced (C1/C2)
Lesson Topics: teamwork, executing ideas
Skill Focus: Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: steve-jobs-teamwork-advanced-lesson-042024.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students preview vocabulary from a 1995 interview with Steve Jobs. The video describes his views on the importance of teamwork in executing ideas. After matching vocabulary, students watch the 3:11-minute YouTube video.
  • After comprehension questions, students match vocabulary from the video to definitions and then form discussion questions using the target vocabulary.
  • There is one debate topic about whether the iPhone has been good for humanity. The roleplay scenarios all relate to a scenario in which students must pitch a product to a product manager. Afterward, they must manage some conflicts on their team.
  • The following section introduces seven idioms that use metaphorical language. Students must research and teach the idioms to each other and then put them in the appropriate cloze (blank).
  • This is followed by some famous quotations about teamwork and ideas. The lesson ends with a review of vocabulary and collocations before presenting some final discussion questions.

A three-person team looking frustrated

ADVANCED (C1/C2) Lesson Plan | Steve Jobs on Teamwork


  1. Would you rather run your own business or work for someone else? Why?
  2. Have you ever had a great idea that you wanted to turn into a product or service? What was it?
  3. Would you rather work individually or on a team? Why?
  4. What’s your opinion of Steve Jobs and/or Apple?

Membership is required to view this post. Please support EnglishCurrent by becoming a member today. Members, please log in.


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

  1. The "disease" of thinking that a great idea is 90% of the work and that just telling others about the idea is enough for it to be realized.
  2. A trade-off could involve choosing between materials due to constraints, such as what can physically be done with plastics, glass, or electronics, to achieve the desired product functionality and design.
  3. A tremendous amount of craftsmanship, understanding and adapting to the subtleties of the idea as it evolves, and making necessary trade-offs based on what is realistically achievable.
  4. The rock tumbler metaphor illustrates how a team of talented people working hard on something they believe in can polish and refine each other and their ideas through interaction, friction, and collaboration, resulting in beautiful, polished outcomes much like rough stones turned into polished rocks.

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

Metaphorically Speaking Answers:

  1. plays his cards right
  2. walk on eggshells
  3. gave me the cold shoulder
  4. get under your skin
  5. uphill battle
  6. turn a blind eye

 Collocations 1-b, 2-a, 3-d, 4-c

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *