Love it or hate it, Starbucks is an integral part of American culture. Their wide variety of tasty coffee and non-coffee drinks appeal to all! Many English learners can feel overwhelmed looked at the menu. There are English words, Italian words, and words that are made up!

This lesson can be expanded to include many grammar points. In this example I’ve decided to use modals as the focus.

Pre-Lesson

Use the Speed Dating warm-up activity with these questions below! For information on the Speed Dating activity check out the previous post!

  1. Have you ever been to Starbucks? Did you like it?
  2. What do you usually order from Starbucks, or any coffee shop?
  3. Do you drink coffee everyday? Do you buy it or make it at home?
  4. Do you think Starbucks has healthy food?

During Lesson

Have students look at a Starbucks menu. They can go online to look at the menu (Starbucks Menu) or you can go into a location and grab some of their paper menus. For this lesson we’ll be focused on just their beverages.

Have students write which beverages they would want to order from Starbucks. Make sure they also include the right size! With a small group, students should share their drink choices. They should try to define the drinks (what’s in them, how are they different from other similar sounding drinks).

Now have students write down how they would order these drinks. Students should share their sentences with their small group. Below is an example.

Polite                                                              Impolite 

May I please have a tall iced caramel                Get me a small iced caramel macchiato.

macchiato?

Post Lesson

Come together as a class. Have individual students come to the board and write which words and phrases they used as polite language and which were used as impolite language. Ask the class which they will use next time they go to Starbucks and what their favorite drinks are!

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