This is one of our Tokyo JET Lesson Plans

Feel free to use, modify, and upload your own lessons!


NOTE: While designed to expand upon topics in the Unicorn 2 textbook, this activity is based on one from Breaking News English can easily be adapted.

This activity is based on the conclusion of Lesson 10 "What is Uniquely Human?" in which the author, Dr. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, says that imagination is unique to humans. Students now have to prove that they are human and not chimpanzees by using their imaginations to predict the future!




[10 minutes] IntroductionEdit

  1. Reread the last paragraph from Lesson 10 ("In contrast, humans ... human nature.")
    1. Emphasize that because humans can think about things that are not in front of us, we can plan for the future which allows us to make technology and huge cities. Point out that the feelings of "anxiety" and "hopefulness" help us to make efforts toward a better future.
  2. Now it's time for students to prove they are human by using their power of imagination to "envisage the distant future."
  3. Have students read the news article from Breaking News English (included in the worksheet) (technically optional but it helps students make connections between disparate texts)

[5-10 minutes] DiscussionEdit

  1. Explain the worksheet:
    1. First column - prediction for the future about the topic
    2. Second column - their emotional reaction to that prediction
    3. Third column - explain their emotional reaction
  2. Provide an example with your JTE:
    1. "Sensei, what do you think food will be like in 100 years?"
    2. "Hmm... Well, I think that food will be a tiny supplement or pill, like medicine. We will be able to take one pill and get the nourishment for an entire day!"
    3. "Oh, I see! That makes me a little anxious, because I really like food! I don't want to lose the joy of eating."
    4. "Ah, that's a good point. But I think it makes me hopeful because we can end world hunger using this kind of food."
  3. If you want students to discuss completely in English, it may be worth giving students individual preparation time to write keywords on their own paper before talking in groups.
  4. Have the students make groups for a discussion about their predictions for the future using the worksheet as a scaffold.
  5. Depending on how much time you have, have the students either talk about every topic or choose two or three topics that interest them.
  6. Have the students take notes about their own ideas and the ideas of their group members.

[5-10 minutes] WritingEdit

  1. Have the students write about their ideas and/or their group discussion.
  2. If your students did the Research in English activity, encourage them to use similar phrases such as "one student said," and "in contrast."
  3. Student Example:

"I think in 2116 "family" will become more freestyle. For example, we think that we should not divorce once we married. However, if medical technology is advanced, we have longer time in our lives, so it does not fit to marry one person. If divorce is more common, inevitably, raising children become less important. This is why I think family style will be more free. But some of my team said they disagree. They said family is an important thing for us and they also said it is important to raising children."


  • For a challenge: For each prediction that students make, have them think of reasons why each one might make someone anxious AND hopeful. (i.e. "3D printed food makes some people hopeful because it could solve world hunger but it makes others anxious because it might destroy the variety of flavors in food.")
  • For an easier time: During discussion time, allow students to speak in Japanese and encourage them to help each other figure out how to express their ideas in English before writing individually.


Breaking News English