Kleenex or tissues – now, that is the question!

Kleenex or tissues – now, that is the question!

Lesson overview

In this ESL lesson, the student will learn about and discuss brand names that are used as generic terms.


Brand names, trademark words – we talk about them all the time. They are present in all languages. Learning them is as important as learning generic terms. Are you having a hard time recalling an English noun? Try using a brand name or a trademark word. Who knows, maybe that’s the missing piece to your fluency in English? If that’s the case, this lesson is all that you need. As a bonus, you will learn some words and phrases connected with branding. Who knows when it will come in handy! 


Warm-up: association game

The student and the teacher play an association game starting with the word brand


Video: What is a brand?

Before watching the video of advertising expert Marty Neumeuer explaining what a brand is, the student is introduced to his short biography and the brands he helped build.

After watching the video, the student completes statements about what a brand is and isn’t. This is followed by a discussion based on the quote: ‘When something is free, YOU are the Product.’


Guessing game: famous brands

The final answers (famous brands) should be guessed after the hints are revealed. The student should also come up with their own mind map for their favorite brand.


Video: What is a trademark?

The student watches a short video explaining what a trademark is, marks statements true or false, and matches different examples of trademarks.


Reading: generification

In this part of the lesson, the student learns about generification from a short passage. After that, they match examples of trademarked terms to generic terms. They learn more examples of generic and trademarked terms by filling in gaps in sentences and matching the products they should use in real-life situations. 


Vocabulary: legal, copyright, registered

The student learns the difference between the symbols ™ , ® , and ©, as well as what happens when you forget the ® symbol.

Descriptions of certain products are presented and the student decides whether they are a fact or a fib. Afterwards, they sort out brands according to the country of origin and their purpose.




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