What Are You Scared of?

Stefanie Simmons - author of the lesson   Stefanie I May 06, 2022
General English, Speaking Lessons
A2 Elementary, B1 Intermediate
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
Illustration depicting things that evoke fear or excitement, with students practicing phrases and idioms related to being afraid in an English lesson.

Lesson Overview

Spiders? Heights? Things that go “bump” in the night? This lesson is all about fear and those things that make our hearts skip a beat. Students take part in plenty of engaging discussion activities and fun tasks while they learn and practice phrases and idioms related to being afraid. Students also watch a video with facts about fear. The lesson activities and worksheets have been developed for adults and teenagers.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will learn and practice using phrases that express fear or anxiety, such as "scared to death," "shaking like a leaf," and "nerves of steel." This will help them understand how to describe emotional states in English.

  • Listening: Students will listen to a video about fears and phobias, identifying key terms and phrases related to fear. They will practice distinguishing between different types of fears and the language used to describe them.

  • Speaking: Students will participate in discussions about personal fears and phobias, using the vocabulary and phrases learned. They will express their feelings about various fears and share stories about times they felt scared.

  • Vocabulary: Students will learn vocabulary related to fear, such as "hair-raising," "jumpy," "fearless," and "the creeps." They will practice these words in various speaking and writing exercises to enhance their vocabulary retention.

  • Homework: Students will complete a worksheet where they must use new vocabulary in sentences, match phrases to their meanings, and write a short paragraph about their biggest fear and how they manage it. This will reinforce their learning from the lesson and encourage personal reflection on the topic of fear.


Do you like being scared? You may not, but some people like being afraid. That’s right! Watch this video and learn what drives people to watch horror movies or take a ride on a rollercoaster.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

fight or flight [phrase]: the instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away
kick into action [idiomatic phrase]: to start doing something quickly and effectively, especially something that you have been trained to do
crave [verb]: to want or yearn for greatly
carrot-and-stick [adjective]: characterized by the use of both reward and punishment to get cooperation
nurture [noun]: the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something
scared stiff [idiom]: very afraid or frightened
fearless [adjective]: brave; free from fear
instinctual survival response [noun phrase]: the process of a person or animal preventing itself from being harmed or killed; basic behavior in most living things
adrenaline rush [noun]: a physical feeling of intense excitement and stimulation caused by the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands
bury [verb]: to put or hide underground or to completely cover; to cause to disappear or become inconspicuous
put on a brave face [idiom]: to try to appear brave or calm
jumpy [adjective]: (of a person) anxious and uneasy; nervous
inherently [adverb]: in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way
innate [adjective]: inborn; natural
red alert [noun]: a warning that there is great danger
hair-raising [adjective]: causing terror, excitement, or astonishment
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