I don’t consider myself the biggest Apple fan in the world, although I do own an (outdated) iPhone. My students, however, tend to be tech savvy and always looking for the newest gadget. If your students are also like that, this lesson should be right up their alley.
Because Apple releases a new iPhone model every year, I have taught lessons similar to these before. I’d recommend starting by talking about mobile phones in general before delving into the topic of the new iPhone model.
Pick and choose questions that you think your students will be interested in from the options below and put students into pairs to answer them.
- How old were you when you first got your mobile phone? How does it compare to the phone you have now?
- Do you prefer Android or iOS phones? Why?
- How long have you had your current mobile phone? Why did you choose it? How happy are you with it?
- Aside from calling people and sending text messages, which features do you use the most from your mobile?
- Which features would you like your mobile phone to have? Why?
- How dependent are you on your mobile? Do you think you could make do without one?
After a few minutes, move into a whole group discussion. If the topic of the new iPhone model doesn’t come up, ask students if they have heard anything about it. If they are adolescents, it’s likely that they have, so try to elicit any of the new features.
Tell students they are going to watch a video presenting the new iPhone model. The while-watching question is:
- According to the video, what has changed in the new iPhone 6s?
Board the features students were able to get from the video. If necessary, play the video again and tell students to pay attention to specific things (e.g. what is the new color, or what id new about the camera). Leave their contributions on the board.
Students are now going to read an article from Time presenting the new iPhone. The original article can be found here.
These are the while-reading questions
- Which features mentioned in the video are also mentioned in the article?
- Are there any features in the article that weren’t mentioned in the video?
- Besides the new iPhones, what other products did Apple announce?
Set a time limit of about 2 minutes and get students to discuss the answers in pairs. As a follow-up, ask students to discuss these two questions.
- Which of the new features did you like the most?
- Are these new features enough for you to want to get the new model?
At this moment you can either choose to work with the vocabulary from the text, or gear the discussion towards other gadgets. For example, you could propose the question ‘do you think any gadgets my replace mobile phones in the future’? Students usually mention Google Glasses or the Apple Watch. You could ask students to what extent these devices overlap with what mobile phones already offer and whether their price is worth it.
If you decide to explore the vocabulary from the text, I suggest you focus on the following words:
Once meaning is clarified, students can practice these items by answering personalized questions:
- Which were your favourite subjects in high school? Were you a standout in them?
- Would you mind if your boyfriend or girlfriend glanced at another man or woman?
- Does your school or university boast any famous students?
- Do you have any quirks?
- If you could peek into the future, what would you like to know?
Thanks for reading.