5 Minutes Prep - 2 Hour Interactive Lesson!
It's summer and I'm back on the topic of second hand shopping. If you are teaching English to new immigrants, they may see something as they walk around their neighbourhoods at this time of year that they don't have in their home countries: garage sales. Likewise, they will likely come across thrift stores or flea markets in their neighbourhoods.
A lesson on thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets could be incorporated into a lesson on their community. It could also fit into a shopping unit or one on the environment.
Keep in mind that attitudes toward second hand shopping have changed a lot in North America in the last 25 years, but immigrants' attitudes may not have. Would it be humiliating to be seen shopping at a garage sale or thrift store?
In my classes, I focus on two things: the first is the fact that buying second hand comes under Reduce in the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) of being environmentally friendly. The second is that, unlike in some immigrant cultures where buying something second hand might be an embarrassing secret, North Americans will often brag about a money saving second hand deal.
I've created a reading exercise with questions on garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores for beginners that you are welcome to download and use in your classroom for free. View it large on your computer here and print it if you wish.
For a sheet on conversation practice for bargaining at garage sales, see my May blog post here.
I've also created two worksheets, one for beginner and one for intermediate, on a thrift store called Value Village. It's part of the Savers chain. This is a company with a very successful business model that even students who are uninterested in second hand shopping usually find very interesting. A for-profit company, Savers gets its merchandise from and shares its profits with over 160 non-profit partners.