Greenpeace-Iceland supermarkets banned Xmas ad

Greenpeace and Iceland supermarkets were banned from showing their joint Christmas 2018 ad on British TV, for being deemed (=considered) ‘political’, and as such, not complying with advertising rules in the UK. Controversy ensued (=followed), with a petition to show it on TV even reaching more than 670,000 signatures. The ad, however, could eventually be shown on social media, attracting millions of views and worldwide support.

You can watch the ad below. The second version features onscreen subtitles.


Full text here (p.8)

The text has been written in rhymed poem form. The voice over is by Emma Thompson, in my view one of the best RP (received pronunciation, Standard British English) speaking voices in the English speaking world. Both her accent and intonation provide a great example to be imitated by students of English.

Given both the relevant message and the enchanting prosody of the ad, the following activity could be carried out: before watching the video, just show some screenshots from the ad, like the ones below:

  • Where is the ad set?
  • What is the ad going to be about?

Then, hand out the worksheet below to students. Ask them to guess the missing word(s) in each gap in pairs. That way, their expectations about the message that the ad will be conveying will be activated before actually watching the ad.

You can then play the original ad for students to check their answers against the original text. Which version do they like best?

You can finally ask them to pay attention and try to imitate the stress and rhythm of the poem, as well as the pronunciation of keywords and rhyming words.

Some primary schools in the UK worked alongside Greenpeace and created new versions of the poem of their own:

M11U5- Numbers

To introduce the topic, you may watch this video explaining how to read certain tricky figures:

You may also visit this website, which contains lots of detailed and clear information.

You may also listen to this clip in which some speakers discuss which their favourite numbers are:

Finally, you may listen to this news snippet about childhood obesity figures in Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands in the UK). Then, answer the questions about the clip:

Questions (self-check your answers)

On a different note, since this week’s unit is about numbers, and on Friday there might be people indulging on binge shopping because of Black Friday, I thought this could be a good excuse to talk about shopping, consumerism, and spending figures.

You have some idioms related to money and spending here:


READING: Spanish retailers gear up for Black Friday

LISTENING: How to differentiate deals from duds

Watch this video, and then answer the following questions (self-check your answers)

You may also watch this video about binge shopping (you can click on CC to activate subtitles):


Hamleys- Toy store

De Hamleys ( se dice que es la juguetería más grande del mundo. En Londres desde 1760, la tienda actual, en el 200 de Regent Street, se abrió en 1881. Es como un department store, pero de juguetes. Consta de varias plantas, distribuidas por secciones, incluyendo peluches, juegos educativos…Una obligación para todos aquellos que viajéis con niños.


You can do the following listening exercise:

You may also watch this:

6a- ads

You may visit these sites for very popular stores in Britain: