Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Price is Right meets Bruno Mars and I wanna be a billionaire

Money and luxury were the themes of a lesson I team taught last week ,with my friend Sally. I enjoyed the class and I think the Ss did too so, I thought I'd share it.

We always teach the first class of our short courses together. We choose a topic and then we plan. Sally chose the topic "LUXURY" motivated, by her sons bringing her a coffee in bed one Sunday morning.
  • Sally chose the song I Wanna be a Billionaire by Bruno Mars.
  • I chose to make a powerpoint based on the game show The Price is Right
 We used proverbs as a warmer to the topic of money. In groups the Ss discussed the following and thought about Spanish equivalents. This activity worked suprisingly well. There was a lot of discussion about the Spanish equivalents and Ss seemed to really get into the activity.

  1. The best things in life are free.
  2. Money doesn't grow on trees.
  3. Money talks.
  4. Money makes the world go around.
  5. Money is the root of all evil.

Then I showed them my powerpoint and in groups they had to decide on the prices of the objects I showed them. I choose mad stuff , like the most expensive boots in the world, $14,00 the price of renting an island in the Bahamas for a week and over the top stuff like a car for 1.7 million dollars. The game was fun and generated a lot of interest. It may have been a bit light on language. After the game we talked about their own mad purchases which led to a discussion on mad buys.

To prepare the Ss for the song we showed them pictures of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, The Queen of England, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, and asked them to discuss possible connections in groups. This generated a lot of conversation.

The final part of the class was a back to the board dictagloss of the chorus of the song. We choose the chorus only as it's much clearer than the rest of the song which is quite rappy. They got to listen to the song 3 times. The first time they listened and took notes and then discussed what they heard with the person next to them. The second time they listened and then discussed in groups of four. After the third listening they turned round and listened to the whole song.

Here are the lyrics, and a video from a site called This site looks good, but check the lyrics as I think there's a mistake in this one. It should be Forbes magazine. Watch out it contains a swear word!

Bruno Mars Travie Mccoy Feat - Billionaire on

Using Nik Peachy Article -


  1. Hi Leahn :-)

    What a coincidence! The first chapter of my High Intermediate 4 group (they're a B2 CEF, quite fluent already) is about consumerism - which of course has me approaching it with money, luxury etc... I also used "I want to be a billionaire" - I focused on expressions in it and then to generate discussion - relating the desire to be rich to the need to HAVE and BUY. I really enjoyed your "The Price is Right" activity and with your permission ;-) will include it in the teacher's resource book, for next semesters.

    Some resources I also use when working on this chapter/with this topic are a short film called "Consumerism! The musical" - you can find it at With it we develop the debate on consumerism in the world today, how values have changed, etc...

    There's also a great project (The 100 Thing Challenge) by a journalist called Dave Bruno (read about the challenge on This guy spent a whole year with just 100 things. We discuss that in class, I ask the students to try to make their 100-things list, they compare what is essential in their lives etc...

    Thanks for sharing your ideas :-) Loved it!



  2. Hi Cecilia,

    Thanks for the ideas! I'm going to add them to my lesson ideas list. Help yourself to the Price is Right! I got it from someone else a few years ago. I like the idea of living with less I think that would produce a great discussion!

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    I really appreciate it!