The aesthetic of the ’80s

The aesthetic of the ’80s

Lesson overview

In this Upper-Intermediate lesson plan, students will discuss Past Perfect Simple and Past Perfect Continuous tenses, and talk about clothes, hairstyles, furniture, appliances and gadgets of the 80s.



The student tries to guess the names of items popular during the ’80s shown in pictures (Pac-Man, legwarmers, mullet, etc.).


Vocabulary: Fashion

The student learns the names of fashion items that appeared in the ’80s (shoulder pads, mini skirts, go-go boots, etc.). They also learn about fabrics and patterns used in this fashion era (animal print, leather, denim, etc.). The student replaces pictures with words to get the names of accessories women wore back then (scrunchies, bangles, oversized glasses, etc.).

Next, they match the hairstyles with their names (mullet, mohawk, Jheri curls, etc.).


Reading: Home styles and furniture

The student reads an abstract on home styles and furniture in the ’80s, and completes the text with the missing words. Next, they put the words from the home style and furniture section to the correct categories (materials, rooms in the house, exterior, interior, etc.).


Vocabulary: Gadgets

The student matches the names of gadgets with their pictures (Game Boy, Boombox, Sony Walkman, etc.) and descriptions.


Video: The origin of the ’80s asthetic

The student watches the Vox video The origin of the ’80s aesthetic and completes the video comprehension practice. They also correct the mistakes in the statements based on the video.


Grammar: Past Perfect vs. Past Perfect Continuous

The student completes the rules and structures of Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous tenses with the missing words. They practice using these two tenses by completing sentences with the correct forms and correcting mistakes. 


Vocabulary: ’80s Slang 

The student gets familiar with slang phrases that originated in the ’80s (take a chill pill, gag me with a spoon, etc.). They match them to hypothetical situations. 

As a wrap-up activity, the student solves rebus puzzles to get the words they learned in the lesson (legwarmers, rug, etc.).



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