Feb 162016

There’s so much interest in the US election candidates! This has to be a great time to have a lesson with an American president. So we’ve given our Obama video a makeover and created captions on YouTube and also lesson materials. Here’s a lesson plan (see below) and it comes with a free worksheet that you can download here.

Lesson plan
1. Warm up by asking the students to imagine their phone is ringing. Who would they most like to receive a call from right now?

2. Are there any times they wouldn’t want to take a call? (e.g. when they’re driving, in the shower, watching their favourite TV show.)

3. Play the video.


4. Check everyone has understood.
a. Who called Vicki and what did they want to talk about? (Barack Obama – he wanted to talk about baseball)
b. Did Vicki handle the call politely and efficiently? What did she do? (See if they can recall some of the instructions they saw at the bottom of the screen.)

5. Now it’s time to explore the language in more detail. Can they recall some of the things Obama said?


  1. This is
  2. doing, interrupting you, figured
  3. these days
  4. fan, grew up,
  5. Tell, take care

6.  Now a matching exercise. You could put these phrases from the video on separate pieces of paper that students can move around, or simply use the worksheet we’ve provided. The students’ task is to match the phrases to their replies.


1.g,  2.c,  3.a,  4.b, 5.d, 6.e, 7.f

7. Now it’s time to set up a role play. Ask the students to think of a famous person they’d like to receive a call from. What would they like to talk about with them?

8. Pair the students and tell them they’re going to act out the call with their famous person. Give them a few minutes to prepare what they will say first and then enjoy the fun!

9. To round up the lesson, see if anyone would like to share a story about a memorable phone call they’ve received. Or maybe your students would prefer to discuss who they think should be the next American President (and shouldn’t be President!)

The video is available on YouTube and it’s also available with a clickable transcript at our Simple English Videos website.
Click here to download the worksheet.

 Posted by at 4:52 pm

  2 Responses to “Taking a call from Obama – a video EFL/ESL lesson + worksheet”

  1. Hello Vicki and Jay.
    This is Orlando from LIma-Perú . I am glad that I got this video. It reminds me the steps That I have to follow when preparing my class and that is the correct way when someone wants to prepare a lesson plan. In this opportunity, the lesson is about a phone call. Students like to work with this kind of activity. I think. The more precise we follow the steps of the lesson plan. The more successful the lesson will be.
    Many thaks for the video Vicki.

  2. I’m so glad you like it Orlando! My students have enjoyed this lesson and I hope yours will too. Thanks for writing!

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