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C1 – Smartwatches: Are They as Smart as We Think?

Article-based ESL lesson which discusses the development and impact of smartwatches, particularly the Apple Watch. It suggests that while they offer some useful features like health tracking and emergency calling, they may not live up to the initial expectations. Additionally, it raises concerns about data privacy and over-reliance on these devices for self-awareness and motivation, even possibly leading to a future where technology is deeply integrated into our bodies. Students can learn about the evolution of smartwatch technology, its benefits and limitations, and the ethical considerations surrounding its usage.

This is a flipped lesson. Not sure how to teach it? Click here for more instructions.

TypeLevelVocabularyReading timeLesson Time
Flipped LessonC1 / Advanced15 words7 min / 1274 words60 min
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Teaching guide

This is a flipped lesson. Before class, students need to preview the vocabulary on pages 4-5. You can either send them a list of words or full pages with our suggested definitions.

  1. Useful/useless features and Lead-In: Start the lesson with discussing as many questions as necessary. Encourage a lively discussion among students to activate their prior knowledge. Then, choose top 3 useful / useless features of smartwatches and sort them into two columns.
  2. Vocabulary: Explore the vocabulary pages, focusing on unfamiliar words. Provide clear explanations and offer additional examples or sentences as needed to enhance comprehension.
  3. Article reading: Students read the assigned article, either individually or collaboratively. Once completed, move on to the questions page to assess comprehension. Discuss some interesting takeaways or anything else that your students found thought-provoking.
  4. Comprehension questions: Go through the comprehension questions, fostering deeper assimilation. Additionally, you should facilitate open discussions on any intriguing or thought-provoking aspects that captured the students’ attention.
  5. Vocabulary practice: Answer the questions using the suggested words.
  6. Dumb Tech: Read the definition of “dumb tech” and discuss the pictures with your students. Explore the benefits of using such devices in our daily lives.

Homework: As an optional homework task, encourage the students to watch the assigned video to further reinforce their understanding of the topic.


  • Gizmo
  • Slick
  • Letdown
  • Strenuous
  • Doom scroll
  • Abandoned
  • Planned obsolescence
  • Insidious
  • Extent
  • Harvest data
  • Outsourcing
  • Self-awareness
  • Pavlovian way
  • Justification
  • Transmit


  • Lead-In 1
  • Lead-In 2
  • Vocabulary 1
  • Vocabulary 2
  • Article reading
  • Comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary practice
  • Dumb tech
  • Optional video