Experiences of an English Language Teacher

A Day in the Life of the Queen: Lesson Plan

Image courtesy of London Moving (2012)

As it was my last day at the British Council Bucharest today, I thought I would share some lesson material that I have developed over the past few weeks with my Young Adult class mostly related to “A Day in the Life of the Queen”.  I asked the learners what they wanted to learn more about, and one student suggested “I want to learn more about the Queen”.  With this suggestion, I decided to think about a lesson and how it would help learners discover more about our great Royal Family.  Then I thought about the Queen attending Royal Functions, meeting various people and spending time at Buckingham Palace.  I suddenly realised what video to show the students (embedded below).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AS-dCdYZbo]

However, before showing the video to students, I asked learners to think about what the Queen does each day and spend a few minutes jotting down a few ideas in pairs.  Then I gave one handout to each student to make a few sentences from their notes.  After they completed the handout (embedded just below), I got students to compare in pairs.  You could use the handout below for students to make a few notes or just skip this and get them to write up their ideas in sentences with the worksheet (as suggested above).

The Queen Daily Routine

After a few minutes, I wrote their ideas up on the Interactive Whiteboard.  Next, I told learners that they were going to watch a video (the one above) about the Queen and what she did during one particular day, and that they needed to take some notes about who the Queen meets, where she is staying and where she goes, what things does the Queen and the guest see during their trip, how they travel, etc.  Then I played the video above.  After they made some notes and wrote some of their notes up on the board, which I had elicited, I handed out a worksheet (embedded below) and I asked students to work in pairs again and to write up some sentences about the video that they had watched.  The student writing can then be used for feedback, error correction, reacting to grammar forms, etc – how ever you wish to use it.

Day in the Life of a Queen

After getting collecting the student writing, I told students to think about what life must be like for the Queen and asked students to individually make a note of advantages as well as disadvantages.  Once learners made some notes, I put students into small groups (between 3 to 4 students) and I nominated the team leader to write up their list of advantages and disadvantages, of being the Queen, on the worksheet (embedded below).  They discussed in their groups and I mentioned if there was any further information that they could include (about family, life, hobbies, etc) that they could add it to Additional Information on the handout.

The Queen Debate

Once learners had completed their worksheet, I put the groups into two separate parties for a debate: one party had to debate being the Queen was good (and mention the advantages), while the other party had to debate that being the Queen was not so good (while mentioning the disadvantages).  This created a lot of emergent language that could be scaffolded and then I wrote up some useful phrases which could be used during the debate.  Next I swapped the role of each party and they had to debate the opposite this time, using some of the language on the board.  It worked really well and gave the learners the chance to re-use some of the vocabulary/lexical chunks on the board.

The next part of the lesson, I asked learners to look on their phones about what rules or etiquette is appropriate for addressing the Queen and asking a question.  Some of the learners found some information on the smartphones pretty quickly and I put their suggestions up on the IWB:

  1. You must bow when meeting the Queen
  2. Do not show your back to the Queen
  3. Etc
With this, I asked how they should address the Queen when asking a question.  I put the following on the board: “What food do you like?” – I asked if this question was suitable if asking the Queen.  The students replied that it might be unsuitable and suggested: “Your Majesty, would you mind if I requested what food one must like?”.  The learners were able to distinguish the difference between informal and formal question forms which helped the next part of the lesson.
I handed out three small pieces of blank paper to each student and told them that they were going to meet the Queen.  I said that they must write their question on each blank paper (thus they would create three questions).  Once they completed, I said that they were also going to meet Lady Ga Ga and then had to write three questions to ask her and that they should use informal/direct questions.  They wrote some really interesting questions.  Whilst they were writing their questions, I played the song “Radio Ga Ga” by Queen, just to see if they could get the connection with the song.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t63_HRwdAgk]
Once all questions were completed, I collected them all and I put them into a small box and mixed them all up.  I told learners that one student was going to meet the Queen and I nominated one student to be the Queen while another was going to be a reporter.  I mixed up all the questions and told them that they must ask the questions as it was written, so if they had a Lady Ga Ga question they had to ask it which created some hilarious reactions to both pairs role-playing as well as those watching.  All learners had a chance to role-play it and I gave each student asking the question about six questions each.  Whilst monitoring, I made a note of some of the language that had emerged and made a note of this on the IWB for feedback and possible error correction.
The whole lesson lasted a good 1 hour and 45 minutes, and I was pleased that they had enjoyed the various activities above.  Have you ever taught about the Royal Family?  What activities have you done to teach about the Queen in class?  Please let me know if you used (or plan to use) this lesson in class.


  1. Leo

    I would like to use this lesson in class and will report back if I do.
    What a great idea – thank you!

  2. I hope it works well. My young learners and adults both enjoyed this lesson. It is also a great topic to introduce learners to British Culture.

  3. nuray

    firstly thank you for your sharing but i didn’t find the materials related to the this activity. how can i reach them.

    • Martin Sketchley

      If you click on the links you will find the material available. I’ll update this post to embed the actual handouts and worksheets within the post.

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