My clothes

Objectives: By the end of the lesson pupils will develop their reading skills in skimming for general understand­ing and scanning for specific words; they will practice asking questions and reporting information to the class as well as controlled speaking with some choice of ques­tions in a game format; pupils will get additional infor­mation about the origin of some clothes.



  1. Warming
  2. Explaining the aim of the lesson.

T: Today we’ll go on with the topic “Clothes”. Al­though in the list of 10 things which are important for you, fashion takes the last place, still it interests you. That’s why at today’s lesson I’ll offer you to read an essay about fashion, you’ll be given additional information about one of the most popular items clothes and you’ll speak on this topic.

  1. Main part of the lesson.
  2. Warming-up. Guessing the titles of the pictures.

T: We’ll start with a guess game. Have a look at these three pictures and guess their titles.

2) While-reading task. Working with the vocabulary.

T: Now take the handouts with the text and read it.

While reading: find the words or phrases in the essay which mean the following:

  1. authoritarian governments ;
  2. experts on a particular subject;
  3. dressed in grey ;
  4. often boasted about ;
  5. invented an expression
  6. without considering
  7. g) soft shoes worn both for running and sports and with casual clothes
  8. h) a style of trousers with legs which get wider towards the bottom
  9. i) strange, foolish, deserving laughter or mockery
  10. j) accepting and following a pattern of behaviour

T: Write these words down in your exercise-books.

(Pupils read the text and write the words down in their exercise-books)


In the days before the collapse of Communism it was said that the thing which most differentiated the free world from the totalitarian regimes was its respect for the individual and his/her right to be different. Pundits gleefully contrasted the anonymous grey-clad masses of the Soviet Union and China with the brightly dressed citizens of the West with their pop music, politi­cal freedom and liberated morality. Nowadays people are wondering whether this much-vaunted indi­viduality might be an illusion. Look­ing at a representative sample in any street I can see a uniform just as anonymous as the green jacket of the Chinese peasants; it is the uni­form of fashion. Yes, fashion has become the dictatorship of the Western World. Young people have coined the phrase “fashion victim” for anyone who slavishly follows the latest trends regardless of their prac­ticality or purpose. But are we not all fashion victims? A huge indus­try has evolved telling us what to wear, who to listen to, where to shop, what to eat, when to laugh, perhaps, even how to think. Teen­agers are the most willing victims of all. Go to any club in Britain or in the United States and you will see an army of blue jeans, trainers, sweatshirts and base­ball caps. Ask teenagers what music they listen to or which TV shows or movies they watch and you will hear much the same short list of whatever is “in” that month. Yet each and every one of them believes that he or she is a true individual. When we buy a new pair of jeans we think we are exercising an individual choice, but we are subconsciously aware that this year straight legs are in and flares out, this year black is fashionable but yellow is not; and so our choice is not free at all, because nobody wants to look ridiculous by wearing something which is “out-of-fashion”. Fashion, music, TV, newspapers, movies. All these forms of popular culture have one thing in common – the message that to be fashionable we must buy things. A record by a new group, a new style of jacket, a new video, a new magazine. Every time something goes out of fashion and something new comes in, it is time to get out the credit cards and cheque book. The individuality we think we are expressing through our choice of clothes, music and entertainment is in reality a way of conforming to the fashions which are dictated to us by the small group of people who control the media and manufacturing companies. Being fashionable means getting poorer while they become rich.

(After the pupils are through with the reading, the task is checked.)

T: Let’s check the task. What does the first definition mean?

(Pupils give the definitions in chain.)

  1. totalitarian regimes;
  2. pundits;
  3. grey-clad;
  4. much-vaunted;
  5. coined the phrase;
  6. regardless of;
  7. trainers;
  8. h) flares;
  9. i) ridiculous;
  10. j) confirming to the fashions.

3). Post-reading task.

T: Read the essay again and find the statements which support the following points made by the writer.

  1. a) Individuality is an illusion.
  2. Fashion is a kind of dictator­ship.
  3. Teenagers are victims of fash­ion.
  4. Our belief that we have a free choice when we buy things is an il­lusion.
  5. The main purpose of popular culture is to make us buy things.

T: Read these statements out and translate them. Do it in chain. Who wants to start?

(Pupils find the statements, read them out and translate into Ukrai­nian.)

  1. Listening for additional infor­mation.

1) Defining the topic.

T: Can you tell me which item of clothes is popular with children, youth and adults? P: I think, it’s jeans.

T: Yes, you are right. Can you imagine our President/ our school head master / your teacher wearing jeans? (Pupils answer the question.)

T: Do you know who was the first to design jeans? I offer you a text about the history of jeans. I hope you’ll find a lot of new information about this popular item of clothes. After you listen to the text, I’ll check your under­standing of it.

2) Listening to the text.

(Pupils listen to the recorded text “The history of jeans “.)


The first jeans were designed by Levi Strauss (1829-1902), who was a German immigrant to the United States. Strauss arrived in San Francisco in 1850, just after gold was discovered

there. Strauss decided to make tough trou­sers to sell to the gold miners. The first pair was made of tent canvas, then strong cotton was imported from France. This cotton was called serge de Nimes in French, and nowadays we call it “denim” (de Nimes). The denim was dyed blue with indigo. In 1873 copper rivets were added to the jeans. Strauss wanted to make the pockets stronger because the miners used to fill them with pieces of rock. The company still makes Levis today. The first Lee Rider jeans were made in 1924, and the first Wran­ glers in 1947. Until the 1930s jeans were rarely seen east of the Mississippi river. Hollywood westerns made jeans popular. Cowboys wore them in the films, and film stars wore them outside the studios. At one time jeans were as a sign of rebellion against authority. They were worn by stars like James Dean and Marlon Brando, then by the student revolutionaries of the 1960s. Alex Madsen, a fashion writer, said, “Jeans were not only clothes; they were clothes-language, instant and eloquent symbols of brotherhood”. Jeans represented freedom. Nowadays jeans are classless. They are worn by everyone, young and old, but not all styles of jeans are fashionable. What makes jeans fashionable? One year it’s an expensive de­signer label, the next year it’s “original Levi 501s”, then it’s jeans with rips and tears. One thing is certain: jeans are here to stay.

3) Control of understanding.

T: Now listen to the statements to the text and de­pending on whether you agree or disagree with them, write “right” or “wrong” in your exercise-books.

1) The first Wranglers were made in 1924.

2) Jeans weren’t very often seen in the eastern USA before 1930.

  • James Dean was a student revolutionary in the 1960s.
  • Alex Madsen was a film star.
  • All jeans are fashionable.

T: Exchange the exercise-books with your class-mate and let’s check your answers.

(Pupils read their answers in chain with the teacher moni­toring the work.)

  • wrong
  • right
  • wrong
  • wrong
  • wrong

T: What are the results? Who has answered all the questions correctly?

  1. Speaking practice.

1)  Practicing asking questions and reporting information to the class.

T: Now let’s revise the information from the text again: ask each other questions, do it in chain.

  • Where was Levi Strauss born?
  • When was he born?
  • Was gold discovered in California before or after 1850?
  • What was the first pair of jeans made of?
  • What materials are jeans made of nowadays?
  • How were the jeans dyed blue?
  • What were the rivets made of?
  • When were they added? Why?

2)  Roleplay “An interview”(pair work).

T: And what about you? Use the questions and make an interview with your partner. In this picture you can see different styles of jeans: tight, flared, baggy, faded, ripped, drainpipes. It’ll help you to speak about the style you prefer.

  • Do you ever wear jeans?
  • Can you remember your first pair of jeans? How old were you?
  • How often do you wear jeans?
  • When do you wear them?
  • How many pairs have you got?


  • What trade mark are your favourite jeans?
  • What styles do you prefer?

Writing practice.

T: Now I want you to write down the following ques­tions and answer them at home as a kind of composition expressing your attitude to clothes.

1)  How fashion-conscious are you in clothes?

  • Can you wear what you want to or do you have to wear a particular style of clothes?
  • What kind of clothes do you feel most comfortable in? Describe them.
  • What kind of clothes do you look best in? Describe them.
  • Do you think women are more interested in clothes than men? Why? Why not?

6). What clothes are fashionable in Ukraine at the moment?

7). What influences your personal choice of clothes?

III. Summing-up.

  1. Home assignment.

T: Along with answering the questions, write the defi­nitions of the words from the text “Fashion or Individu­ality” which you have written down in your exercise-books to revise the meanings of these words.

  1. Marks commentary.


I think, fashion is very important in our life. As for me, I’m sure that not only deeds and words make people. Clothes make them, too. Every person has his/her own style. Even when you don’t have it, you must have some favourite clothes in your wardrobe. When you are in a good mood — you wear them and feel yourself better. But fashion and style are different notions. Fashion is like a dictator. But it’s like this only for those people who want to buy all these fashionable clothes. They buy them be­cause they are “in love” with this or that trade mark. It’s not bad as it can be if you look great in a dress form Gucci. But when you look ridiculous, this trade mark doesn’t make you look better. So, it’s up to you: to have your own style or to look very expensive but ridiculous.


As for me, I like sport style. But it doesn’t mean that I like sport trousers and sport shoes. My style can be char­acterized as a street or youth style. I can’t say that I wear clothes that are fashionable at the moment. If 1 like some­thing, I wear it and don’t care whether it’s in fashion or not. Sometimes I do quite the opposite: I don’t buy the clothes that are in fashion and all the people have them. I don’t like skirts. When I was smaller, I used to wear clothes that were larger than I needed: trousers, sweaters, blouses. Now I also like to wear trousers and blouses but of my size. I don’t know what clothes I look best in but none of my friends has ever told me that I look bad in the clothes I usually wear. Speaking about men and women, it’s dif­ficult to say who is more interested in clothes. I do know some boys who can’t go out without spending no less than half an hour trying on different items of clothes to find out which one they look best in. It’s also hard to say what is in fashion in our country .


I do not buy magazines or watch special programmes on TV. I like those things which only I have. I can’t afford buying clothes in the shops, that’s why I buy them in second-hand shops. There I can find unique clothes at normal prices. And I have one weak point: I like to wear old clothes, for ex­ample, the clothes which my mother was wearing when she was a teenager.


I’m not very fashion conscious, I’m not a fashion victim. Actually, I can wear what I want to but there are some exclusions. For example, I have to wear uniform at school and I which depends on what kind of music I listen to or in what mood I am that day. I feel myself mostly comfortable in jeans and casual clothes. I can’t decide what clothes I look best in but when I’m wearing comfortable clothes I feel more self-reliant. It’s an under­standable thing that women are more interested in clothes than men because they have to look elegant, fashionable to conquer these men. I choose my clothes according to my mood, the way of my life, the music I listen to, the place I’m going to and the price and my finances.






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