Search this site:             
Home: Fall 2021 Edutainment Lesson Plans

Fall 2021 Edutainment Lesson Plans
(Let's have fun learning English!)

Lessons on this page are optional and not part of your grade, but if you take the time to do them, they will not only improve your overall English communication skills, but will also broaden your cultural horizons to help you become a more successful international citizen in today's global society! smiley Bonus points will be offered on some assignments.



Week 6:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - At the 7:01 mark in this video, you'll see an interesting story about the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. For bonus points, write down how many people attended this 9-day event. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. Click on the settings (gear) icon if you need to change the subtitle size.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 21 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [If you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 6 instead.]

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: ​​​Small Potatoes

Interesting Japan news - In this video, the 81-year-old Japanese skateboarder states that "anything short of death is just a scratch." smiley For bonus points, write down how much he paid for his first skateboard.

We are the World! - Last week I shared a video of the College of Engineering where I studied civil engineering (土木工学) at The University of Texas at Austin. This week I'd like to show you the on-campus dormitory where I lived called Jester Center. More than 3000 students live there, WOW! Here's the video.

Humorous video - This video shows the most amazing tropical fish you've ever seen. They can even do TRICKS, wow! laughing icon




Week 5:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - For this week's English comprehension challenge, at the 7:45 mark in this video check out this news story of a beached whale in Argentina. For bonus points, write down the whale's length. As usual, host Carl Azuz finishes the story with his usual oyaji gyagu (おやじギャグ), ha ha. smiley [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. Click on the settings (gear) icon if you need to change the subtitle size.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 20 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [If you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 5 instead.]

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Gut Feeling

Interesting Japan news - Honda is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft. The key vocabulary word in this news story is "range," meaning the distance that a vehicle can travel. For bonus points, write down the range for this new flying car that Honda is hoping to achieve.

We are the World! - It was a VERY long time ago when I was your age as a university student, but even today, many years later I still remain very proud of my alma mater. You might enjoy seeing this promo video for the College of Engineering where I studied civil engineering (土木工学) at The University of Texas at Austin. For bonus points, write down the average annual starting salary for engineering graduates from my university.

Humorous image - ​To read a very popular ancient Japanese proverb (古代日本のことわざ), visit this page. smiley




Week 4:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - For bonus points, what is the name of the dog, a Russell Terrier, that recently set a world record for running around a baseball diamond in 21.06 seconds? Cue over to the 8:33 mark in this video. That is a FAST dog! Can you run that fast? smiley [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. Click on the settings (gear) icon if you need to change the subtitle size.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 19 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [If you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 4 instead.]

English in a Minute - If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Tone Deaf

Interesting Japan news - If you have time, please check out the ADORABLE baby cheetah in this 31-sec. video. For bonus points, write down where he was born.

We are the World! - To broaden your global horizons, check out Spanish acrobatic paraglider pilot Horacio Llorens take a breathtaking nighttime flight through the Aurora Borealis (北極光) near Trømso, Norway in this 3 min. video.

Humorous video - ​Before you have your next barbeque, if you're not sure if your beef is safe to eat, here's how to identify if your cow has mad cow disease (狂牛病): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6ag1bIabg0 smiley




Week 3:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - This week, if you have time, have a look at the story at the 2:21 mark in this video to see a very interesting centuries-old fishing tradition in an Asian nation. For bonus points, write down the name of the fish they catch. You might also like the short story at the 8:05 mark showing some highlights of a recent robotics conference in China. [Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. Click on the settings (gear) icon if you need to change the subtitle settings.]

Let's Learn English, Lesson 18 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [If you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 3 instead.]

English in a Minute - a short video explaining a popular idiom used in everyday American English conversation. If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Talk is Cheap

We are the World! - In my college days, one of my favorite bands was The Doobie Brothers. And one of my all-time favorite musicians in those days was a friend I had the pleasure of often hearing him sing and play his guitar. And now, decades later, he still sings and plays the guitar very well. If you have time, please listen to his band in Austin, Texas playing The Doobie Brothers' tune, "Jesus is Just Alright" in this video starting at the 12:04 mark (he's the lead singer and guitarist). For bonus points, let me know what YOU think about his band! smiley

Humorous video - ​Back in the mid-90s, I had the pleasure of singing and dancing in a children’s English education stage show​ (子供の英語教育のショー)​ conducted in public halls all over Japan. One of my fellow entertainers was a funny guy from Australia who was also a comedian. Here’s the music video for a funny song named "Kinjo no Gaijin" (近所の外人) he recorded which became so popular, it was even played for a while on the Tokyo radio station InterFM897. Hilarious! [his pet vacuum cleaner's name is Erik, ha ha...] smiley




Week 2:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - At the 8:02 mark in this video, you can see plans for a sightseeing space balloon in 2024 which will carry as many as 8 passengers to an altitude of 100,000 feet. WOW! For bonus points, at the bottom of your homework form, write down the cost of a ticket and how many hours the flight will last. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles].

Let's Learn English, Lesson 17 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [If you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 2 instead.]

English in a Minute - a short video explaining a popular idiom used in everyday American English conversation. If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Wishy-washy

We are the World! - On Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, skydivers broke a world record for the largest sequential formation of all time, as you can see in this video. WOW! For bonus points, how many skydivers were there?

Humorous video - This funny video shows 8 different types of people shopping at the supermarket. For bonus points, write down which kind of shopper YOU are, ha ha. smiley
[Click on the "CC" button for English subtitles. If you cannot read them, click on the settings (gear) icon, then click on "Subtitles," then "English," then click on "Options," and where it says "Font size," select "100%."]



Week 1:

CNN10 Weekly Newsquiz - Formerly called "CNN Student News," this short commerical-free broadcast highlights news stories of interest to American students. Watch the news story starting at the 7:25 min. mark in this video and write down the name and length (in meters) of Australia's largest dinosaur. [click on the "CC" button for English subtitles] For bonus points, write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of your Week 1 quiz form.

Let's Learn English, Lesson 16 - an online lesson with video showing the lives of young Americans. Watch the short video, try out a few of the other exercises on the page, and then take the short quiz to check your comprehension. [Intermediate learners may find some of these lessons a little easy, but with language learning, sometimes a quick review of the English expressions you already know is vital for long-term retention of your language skills! On the other hand, if you find this lesson too hard, you might want to challenge Lesson 1 instead.]

English in a Minute - a short video explaining a popular idiom used in everyday American English conversation. If you can imagine living in an English-speaking country, think of a situation where you could use this week's American idiom: Lost Cause

We are the World! - pictures or videos of interesting things happening in Japan and other parts of the world. For the first week, check out Scotland-native Danny MacAskill, a professional cyclist who gets paid BIG money to do tricks and stunts on his mountain bike. You won't believe this amazing video where Danny takes a dangerous, death-defying bike ride across rooftops in the Canary Islands, off the Atlantic coast of Northwest Africa. For bonus points, write down which language they speak in the Canary Islands. This video has been viewed over 110,000,000 times. WOW!

Humorous video - What's your favorite brand of soy sauce? Watch this video to find out the teacher's favorite brand! smiley

Homework Assignments: 

In general, you will have one week to turn in homework assignments from the day they are assigned. Homework assignments more than one week late will receive an automatic 20% deduction. Assignments more than 2 weeks late will not be accepted and will receive a ZERO on the assignment.


My main teaching philosophy: Edutainment!! laughing icon

edutainment venn diagram




New! Add your comment

Have your say about this page! Feel free to comment in the box below:




What's New?

  1. Houston Astros headed to the World Series…

    Oct 25, 21 10:27 AM

    ...for the 3rd time in the last 5 years! After clinching the American League pennant against the Boston Red Sox last Friday, the Astros will be hosting the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, October 26 at Min…

    Read more

  2. Gary J. Wolff's Blog

    Oct 25, 21 10:23 AM

    Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the GaryJWolff.com website.

    Read more

  3. Young Japanese boy softball pitcher (日本の少年ソフトボールのピッチャー)

    Oct 19, 21 12:39 AM

    ​I almost fell off my bicycle the other day when I noticed this young boy, I’m guessing no more than 7 or 8 years old, pitching like a real pro against grown adults in a parents vs. children softball…

    Read more






Let's connect!!

Gary J. Wolff
Facebook badge

View Gary J. Wolff's profile on LinkedIn

My pics:

My videos: YouTube logo