The Joy of Books Lesson Plan

After watching "The Joy of Books" video posted on Youtube, I had to show it to the students.  I wasn't planning on a making a lesson of it, but this is where it took us.

I hope you enjoy the ideas I came up.  Here is how the hour-long class went:

First, we watched the video at the start of class.  You can see it here: 

After, I put the students into groups and had them talk about these questions:  
1. What did you think of the video? 
2. How do you think it was made? 
3. Have you seen a video like this before? 
4. If you could make a video similar to this, what would the theme be? 
5. What do you think was the purpose of the video? 
6. What other types of animation do you like? 

After the 5-minute discussion in partners, we shared some answers as a whole class. 

Next, I wrote the title of the video on the board: The Joy of Books 

I had them get into partners again and brainstorm their own ideas for titles. They wrote their best picks on the board and we all voted on which title we thought was best. 
(Side note: we didn't come up with anything better than the original title.) 

After that exercise, they found a new partner and we moved on to another activity. 

In pairs, they brainstormed adjectives to describe the video. After 5 minutes I took ideas and wrote them on the board. This gave us the chance to do some vocabulary work as some students had to explain to the class the definitions of the adjectives they chose. 

Then, we took the adjectives and picked the best 7. For this we focused on choosing the most specific adjectives that related to the video. So for example, we chose creative but not amazing. We thought amazing could describe many things, but creative was more appropriate. 

I wrote the best 7 on the board and added 3 of my own. I chose motivating, elaborate, and complex because I was trying to give them 3 adjectives they didn't know. 
(Side note: the video motivated me to

After explaining my three adjectives and double-checking that they knew the 7 of their own, I moved on to the next phase. 

The students worked in partners to choose 10 nouns, one to match with each of the 10 adjectives on the board. So for example, one group chose Picasso for creative and teacher for motivating

Then, the groups randomly said one of their nouns and the other groups tried to guess which adjective it matched with. I thought it would be easy, but most of them had about 6-8 of their nouns matched to the adjectives correctly by the other groups. 

It was competitive and fun, and it really extended their understanding of the 10 adjectives. After the adjective game, we wrapped it up with a little discussion on the video and I revealed that it was filmed in Toronto, just a few blocks away from our school. They were excited to hear that. 

So from a 2 minute video with no dialogue, I came up with an hour-long class.  It was a class that had lots of authentic speaking and some wonderful vocabulary work. Overall, it was fun and the students enjoyed it. 

I recommend you watch the video at least to enjoy the incredible and creative work done by the employees of Type book store. And if you think your students would enjoy it, try out some of my ideas from the lesson I taught today. 


  1. Thank you so much for this -- a great post, and a great idea for an English lesson.

    I'm always trying to find ways of convincing students to read more, and this might just succeed!

    1. Convincing students to read is always tough, but always important. Good luck!

  2. I'm an ESL instructor* and the private language school I teach at has limited resources so I am thrilled to come across this post! It looks like a great lesson and we just covered adjectives so I can't wait to use it with my students tomorrow!

    *(as well as a trained nose and fragrance blogger!)