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Teacher’s Notes
Buy Nothing Day
by Magdalena Kondro
Type of activity: individual, pair and group work
Focus: vocabulary connected with money and
shopping, expressions for agreeing, disagreeing and
giving reasons; listening, speaking and writing skills
Level: elementary – intermediate; lower secondary
Time: 45 minutes
Preparation: Make a copy of Student’s Worksheet
for each student.
5. To shop (to go to shops to buy things) / to pay (to
give money for something)
6. A salary (money that is paid regularly for work
done) / pocket money (money that parents
regularly give to their children)
7. Recycled (processed from waste materials) /
second-hand (owned by someone else before)
1. Write Buy Nothing Day on the board and explain
the concept behind it. Explain that in today’s
lesson the students are going to talk about their
attitude to money and shopping.
2. Ask the students to make a list of everything their
families buy every day, e.g. food, cosmetics,
clothes, petrol, bus tickets, etc. Set a time limit
of 2 minutes and then elicit the answers onto the
board. Encourage the students to think of how
they could avoid buying these products if their
family had to live 24 hours without spending any
money, e.g. they could walk instead of driving or
taking a bus, they could use the food that is
already stored at home, they could borrow
something from their neighbours, etc.
3. Give each student a copy of Student’s Worksheet.
Divide the students into pairs and ask them to
discuss the meaning of the words in Activity 1,
using L1 or L2, depending on the level of the class.
Set a time limit of 3 minutes. Check the meaning
of the words with the whole class. Then ask the
students to write sentences with the words to
illustrate the difference between the words in
each pair. Elicit the example sentences from
different pairs.
English defi nitions:
1. To spend (to use money to pay for things) /
to save (to put away money to use it later)
2. To borrow (to take something that belongs to
someone else and promise to give it back later) /
to rent (to pay money regularly for using
something, e.g. a fl at that belongs to someone
3. To earn (to receive money for work) / to win (to
get something as a prize)
4. To cost (to require payment before something
changes ownership) / to afford (to have enough
money to pay for something)
4. The students work individually and read statements
1-10 in Activity 2. Explain anything the students
may not understand and then ask them to decide
how strongly they agree or disagree with each
statement and circle the correct number
accordingly. The students should also think of the
reasons to support their opinions.
5. In the same pairs as in Activity 1, the students
compare their answers to Activity 2. They should
say whether they agree or disagree with each
statement and give reasons for their opinions.
Encourage them to use the expressions in the
6. Read out the statements one by one and have the
students raise their hands if they agree with them.
Ask different students to name one reason why
they agree or disagree with a given statement.
In pairs, the students write 10 questions about
personal attitudes to and experiences with money
using the words from Activity 1, e.g.
What was the last thing you spent your money on?
Are you good at saving money?
Who do you usually borrow things from?
Set a time limit of 10 minutes. Monitor the students’
work and make sure the questions are not too private
or sensitive. The students then exchange their
questions with another pair and interview each other
with the questions they have received. Then they
change pairs and share what they have found out
about the classmate they worked with previously.
© Macmillan Polska 2011
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