Utopia (Advanced Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: C1/C2 (Advanced)
Lesson Topics: utopia, dystopia, designing an ideal society
Skill Focus: Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: utopia-advanced-lesson-plan-062024.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After a warm-up activity, students preview vocabulary from a BBC ideas video on utopianism. The video discusses the origin of the term, attempts to build utopian societies, and dystopia.
  • The video is followed by recall activity, reading comprehension questions, and a vocabulary-matching activity. Next, students match vocabulary from the video to definitions and then form discussion questions using the target vocabulary.
  • There are three debate topics related to whether society is becoming more utopian or dystopian, the role of technology, and monoculturalism. Next, the lesson has one role-play scenario between a recruiter of a utopian commune and a hiker.
  • Next are two speaking activities. The first has students design their own utopian society. In the second, students discuss ideals.
  • After famous quotations, the lesson ends with a review of vocabulary and collocations before presenting some final discussion questions.

a utopian hippy community

ADVANCED (B2/C1) Lesson on Utopia


  1. What would you like to see changed in the following areas? your life / your city / your school/work
  2. What does the word utopia mean?

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This lesson plan was created by Matthew Barton of EnglishCurrent.com (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.

Vocabulary 1-sinister, 2-paradoxically, 3-face value, 4-coined, 5-absurdities, 6-confined, 7-harmony, 8-satire, 9-myth, 10-purity, 11-flaw, 12-eradicated, 13-fascist

Comprehension Question Answer Key

  1. The word "utopia" became popular after Sir Thomas More coined it in his 1516 book titled "Utopia."
  2. The video relates John Lennon to utopianism because his song "Imagine" embodies the dreamer quality central to utopianism.
  3. For the narrator, the main flaw of utopianism is its obsession with perfection, which can lead to unrealistic and harmful ideas.
  4. The term used to describe the opposite of utopia is "dystopia."
  5. In the conclusion, the narrator suggests that without striving for a better world, society would be stuck in a dreadful state, symbolized by humans in chains with rats chewing on them. This emphasizes the importance of aiming for progress and improvement

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

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