Here’s one of my favourite activities to get students interested in Windsor Castle. The lesson is based around the ‘visit Windsor’ introductory video that can be found on youtube. The lesson is suitable for intermediate students, although the part that uses the video is just fun and could be suitable for strong pre-intermediates (perhaps)
After a brief discussion on famous buildings in England, the Queen, etc, show the students the Windsor Castle video with some simple questions to discuss after, e.g.
In your opinion, which word best describes Windsor castle?
What colour do you most associate with Windsor castle?
Which ‘typically British’ things did you see in the video?
explain to the students that they will do a ‘video observation challenge!’
Dictate the following questions the class (without the answers obviously!):
- What is the pub behind the foot guards called? HORSE AND GROOM
- Complete the words on the sign: ‘Windsor Castle…’ VISITOR ENTRANCE
- Which flag is flying at the castle? THE UNION JACK
- What two letters can you see under the crown? E.R.
- TRUE or FALSE… The video shows a sculpture of George IV TRUE
- Which two animals can you see above the throne? LION and UNICORN
- Which artist’s name is shown on the picture frame? REMBRANDT
- What six words can you see around the Knight on the horse? HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
- Whose name is under William Arthur? PHILLIP LOUIS
- What date is written on the memorial for the fire at Windsor Castle? 20th NOV 1992
It’s just a bit of fun, but it gives the students a bit of an orientation to the building, and they respond well to the competitive observation task. I recommend having them work in pairs to do this. If you wanted to make it more multi-skilled, I guess you could allow only one person in each pair to watch the video, and they have to dictate any answers the see to their partner.
Anyway, the activity leads to discussion about various topics, such as the UK coat of arms. A great extension task is to get students to design their own coat of arms to represent them and their partner. Here’s an example:
Notice the students called this a ‘code of arms’… this probably reflects how well I taught the lesson! Even so, there’s some great language in there.
Here’s a full lesson plan for this activity. It includes the full transcript of the video, which I’ve also made a listening task from and a vocabulary activity. This bit normally works ok, but the video and code, sorry, coat of arms work better. You might want to find some better example pictures, I just took them from google images.
Windsor intermediate lesson plan