What Is Middle Class?

Tom  - reviewer of the lesson plan   Tom | December 16, 2023
General English, Speaking Lessons
Money, Social Interactions
B2 Upper-Intermediate, C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
ESL lesson plan for an online class titled “What Is Middle Class?”

Lesson Overview

Do you have money to burn? In this lesson, students will discuss financial status and social class. This lesson features a video about the American middle class. Students will learn and practice vocabulary and idioms relating to the topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Listening: Students will watch and listen to a video about the American middle class, gaining insights into financial status and social class in the U.S. This activity will enhance their understanding of specific vocabulary and concepts related to social class and financial well-being.

  • Speaking: They will engage in discussions about financial status, social class, and personal experiences related to these topics. This encourages them to articulate their thoughts and opinions in English, improving conversational skills.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson introduces words and phrases related to financial status and social class, such as "middle class," "annual income," "national median," "upper class," and "social strata." Learning these words will help students discuss financial and social topics more effectively.

  • Homework: Learners will reflect on their own financial status and class perceptions, using the new vocabulary. They'll write a short essay or prepare a presentation about their views on what defines the middle class in their own country or in the U.S., encouraging them to apply the vocabulary and concepts learned in a real-world context.


What is lower, middle, or upper class? Do you own a home or have a college degree? Watch this video to learn about the American middle class.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

strike gold [idiom]: make money or have great success with something fast
self-supporting [adjective]: able to take care of oneself financially
affluenza [noun]: negative effects of having or pursuing wealth
get rich quick [idiom]: meant to make a lot of money over a short period of time
creditworthy [adjective]: with a satisfactory credit rating or worthy to receive new credit
bankable [adjective]: certain to bring profit and success
middle class [noun]: the social group between the upper and working classes, including professional and businesspeople and their families
posit [verb]: put forward as fact or as a basis for argument; advance
strata [noun]: a level or class to which people are assigned according to their social status, education, or income
in the money [idiom]: having lots of money
deep pockets [noun]: to have a lot of money or wealth
lap of luxury [idiom]: in a situation of great ease, comfort, and wealth
live high on the hog [idiom]: have a luxurious lifestyle
in clover [idiom]: in ease and luxury; living well
sit pretty [idiom]: to be in a good situation, especially when other people are not
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