EFL / ESL: Dragons' Den Inventions lesson plan for learners of English
Levels: Upper Intermediate to Advanced
This speaking and listening lesson plan uses a pitch from the popular TV show Dragons' Den. It practises speaking and listening and fits the topics innovation, science and British culture. The activity uses a pitch for a Harry Potter style magic wand from the British series available from the link below.
Warm up suggestions
What gadgets do you use every day?
Who invented them?
What famous inventions come from your country?
Have you seen the show Dragons' Den? Do you like it? Why?
Show the class pictures of various inventions. They discuss what they do and which is most/least useful.
Give each student a copy of this worksheet:
Download it here
Dragon’s Den is a TV show where members of the public pitch new inventions and business ideas to a team of entrepreneurs who decide whether or not to invest in the product.
1. Watch the pitch and answer the following questions.
What is the product and how does it work?
What questions would you ask the inventors?
What are the invention’s strengths and weaknesses?
Do you think it’s a good product to invest in? Why/why not?
2. Watch the second part. Were any of your questions answered?
3. Work with a partner. Write a list of tips for a successful pitch.
Pre-teach: pitch, entrepreneur, invest in
Show the pitch (first 2 minutes) and have pairs or small groups discuss the questions. Check answers and write the questions pupils suggest on the board.
Show the next part up to 6:35 . Check which questions were asked and elicit any other good questions.
(Optional) Ask students if the think the pitch was successful and show the rest of the video to check.
In pairs students complete exercise 3. Write a list of tips on the board.
Students now work in groups to come up with their own inventions and prepare pitches. Set a time limit for this.
Tell the class there is a £1 million investment for the best invention. Each group pitches their idea and answers questions from the class. The class then votes on the best idea.
Give feedback on how well groups pitched their inventions using the ideas from the previous activity, good questions and answers and correct any common errors.