Mansplaining explained

Mansplaining explained

Lesson overview

In this ESL lesson, the student will learn how to blend words. They will also discuss the concept of ‘mansplaining.’


Language is like plasticine (or Play-Doh if you prefer brand names to generic names). It’s very flexible and bendy. You can play with words like you play with jigsaw puzzles. Word blending is all about the right matching. But above all, it is about unleashing creativity. Don’t be fooled, though. There will be some serious stuff in this lesson. Just keep your mind open and have fun!



In the warm-up part, the task is to guess what the given words (manuscript, humanity, womankind, manage) have in common and use them in sentences. Then, the student comes up with words that have the same root man.


Grammar: prefixes and suffixes

In the grammar part, the student learns that new words can be formed by adding prefixes and suffixes to root words. However, they also learn that new words can be created by combining existing words. Then, they match the invented object names to the pictures (e.g. bird leaf, house lego, cereal sauce). This exercise is humorous, but it serves to teach word-building principles.


Video: What is mansplaining?

Rebecca Solnit, American writer, explains the concept of mansplaining. The student answers questions related to the concept.


Reading: The origin of the term mansplaining

The student reads a Wikipedia entry about the origin of the term mansplaining and answers reading comprehension questions.


Video: Mansplaining in real life

In the second video, an example of mansplaining is shown and the student is asked to answer the questions related to it.


Chart: Are you mansplaining?

A BBC journalist designed a chart to help men understand whether they are mansplaining or not. The student tests themselves and fills in the missing information.


Vocabulary: blend words or portmanteaus

The student learns about portmanteaus or blend words and puts their knowledge into practice in a blending exercise. Then, they correct the sentences which contain wrong blend words.
The student matches blend words with their meanings and then decides whether given words are blend words or not.
Then, they try to come up with blend words based on given definitions and put the blend words into correct categories.
The student also tries to name as many celebrity couple portmanteaus as they can (e.g. Bennifer, Brangelina, Kimye, etc.).
In the last part of the lesson, the student summarizes their knowledge of blend words by marking statements as true or false.



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