A brilliant athlete, entertainer and role-model, Muhammad Ali used his language skill to attack, humiliate and make fun of his opponents even before they stepped into the ring.
Here’s a warmer/ filler/ cooler lesson on his quotes and life. This should take about half and hour and would be good for intermediate EFL / ESOL or ESL students and above.
1. Click the picture below to download the worksheet. Feel free to change it anyway you like.
2. Have students look at the picture and quote about Ali. Ask them to explain what it means? Students should come up with something like – ‘it means he’s fast’. If that’s what Ali wanted to say, then why didn’t he just say ‘I’m really fast’? The quote is funny and contains lots of images, it shows you that Ali is intelligent and witty. Elicit from student the idea that the way you say something is often as, if not more, important than what is said.
3. Now get students to tell each other what they know about Ali’s life (if anything) before you play the short bio on him. I’ve pasted this below but the URL is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIxbhA4su0g
4. Now get students to read through the quotes in pair or small groups. Get them to match them to the more simple explanations. Here are the answers – 1.c 2.f 3.a 4.d 5.h 6.b 7.e 8.g
5. Follow up. Have students look for more quotes from famous sportsmen or famous people that they like. Get students to share their quotes with their partners of the whole class. You could even print them off and stick them on the wall.