Business English Materials.com
20-Page Handout + MP3 + 8 Online Quizzes on Barbie

Advertisements

PRINT: PDF
 
LISTEN:
UK ENGLISH or
USA ENGLISH

GAMES:

HOME

DONATE

More
Sean
Banville
Sites

MY e-BOOK

See a sample

E-mail this lesson to a
student or colleague



FACEBOOK

THE ARTICLE

The Barbie doll is one of the most successful toys in history. It was launched in 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. It has since become a cultural icon. American businesswoman Ruth Handler came up with the idea of an adult doll for small girls after seeing her daughter dressing up paper dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ comes from Handler’s own daughter Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were sold in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have been sold since. Clever marketing means toy execs keep Barbie up with the times. They adjust to every cultural challenge and change. Her waist was recently widened to avoid stereotypes that women must be thin. She also sports a tattoo on her back. Sales are also boosted by a range of pets, cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need.


 

Advertisements

 

WARM UPS



 

1. BRAINSTORM CHAT: Write all the words you can think of about Barbie on the board or on a piece of paper. Talk about these words with your partner(s).

2. BARBIE MORNING: Each student pretends to be an employee of Barbie. They walk around the class and talk about the company and their job.

3. RUMOURS: Each student writes down a pretend rumour about Barbie. They then walk around the class and talk to other students about their rumour.

4. GOOD AND BAD: Brainstorm good and bad things about Barbie and write them on the board. Students talk about these in pairs.

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about Barbie. They write these down and add the same number of things about the company that are false. Students test each other on which of their points are true or false.

6. FACTS: In groups, students write down as many facts as they can about Barbie. The winner is the group with the most facts. Teacher may wish to have groups share their facts to make sure they are real.

*  LISTENING / READING GAP FILL

The Barbie doll __________________ successful toys in history. It __________________ 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. It has since __________________. American businesswoman Ruth Handler __________________ idea of an adult doll for small girls after seeing her daughter __________________ dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ comes from Handler’s own daughter Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were sold in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have been sold since. Clever marketing __________________ keep Barbie up with the times. They adjust to __________________ and change. Her waist was recently widened to avoid stereotypes that women must be thin. She also sports a tattoo on her back. Sales are also __________________ of pets, cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need.

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

The Barbie doll is one of the most successful toys in history. It was ldchaeun in 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. It has since become a rultuacl icon. American businesswoman Ruth Handler came up with the idea of an adult doll for small girls after seeing her daughter gsdnreis up paper dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ comes from Handler’s own dearuhtg Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were sold in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have been sold since. Clever miakergnt means toy execs keep Barbie up with the times. They jdatsu to every cultural heleangcl and change. Her waist was recently widened to vaido stereotypes that women must be thin. She also sports a aottto on her back. Sales are also eoobstd by a range of pets, cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need.

*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

The Barbie most the of one is doll toys successful in history. It was launched in 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. icon has become cultural It since a. American businesswoman Ruth Handler came up with the an of idea girls small for doll adult after seeing her daughter dressing up paper dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ daughter Handler’s comes own from Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were sold in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have sold been marketing Clever . since means toy up execs with keep the Barbie times. They adjust to every cultural challenge and change. Her waist was recently avoid widened stereotypes to that women must be thin. She also a on back sports tattoo her. Sales are range boosted of by pets a also, cars and accessories – might woman young the everything need.

*  INSERT THE VOWELS

Th_ B_rb__ d_ll _s _n_ _f th_ m_st s_cc_ssf_l t_ys _n h_st_ry. _t w_s l__nch_d _n 1959 by th_ _.S. t_y m_n_f_ct_r_r M_tt_l. _t h_s s_nc_ b_c_m_ _ c_lt_r_l _c_n. _m_r_c_n b_s_n_ssw_m_n R_th H_ndl_r c_m_ _p w_th th_ _d__ _f _n _d_lt d_ll f_r sm_ll g_rls _ft_r s___ng h_r d__ght_r dr_ss_ng _p p_p_r d_lls. Th_ n_m_ ‘B_rb__’ c_m_s fr_m H_ndl_r’s _wn d__ght_r B_rb_r_. _v_r 350,000 d_lls w_r_ s_ld _n th_ f_rst y__r. _v_r _ b_ll__n B_rb__s h_v_ b__n s_ld s_nc_. Cl_v_r m_rk_t_ng m__ns t_y _x_cs k__p B_rb__ _p w_th th_ t_m_s. Th_y _dj_st t_ _v_ry c_lt_r_l ch_ll_ng_ _nd ch_ng_. H_r w__st w_s r_c_ntly w_d_n_d t_ _v__d st_r__typ_s th_t w_m_n m_st b_ th_n. Sh_ _ls_ sp_rts _ t_tt__ _n h_r b_ck. S_l_s _r_ _ls_ b__st_d by _ r_ng_ _f p_ts, c_rs _nd _cc_ss_r__s – _v_ryth_ng th_ y__ng w_m_n m_ght n__d.

*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

the barbie doll is one of the most successful toys in history it was launched in 1959 by the us toy manufacturer mattel it has since become a cultural icon american businesswoman ruth handler came up with the idea of an adult doll for small girls after seeing her daughter dressing up paper dolls the name ‘barbie’ comes from handler’s own daughter barbara over 350000 dolls were sold in the first year over a billion barbies have been sold since clever marketing means toy execs keep barbie up with the times they adjust to every cultural challenge and change her waist was recently widened to avoid stereotypes that women must be thin she also sports a tattoo on her back sales are also boosted by a range of pets cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

The Barbie doll .......... (be) one of the most successful toys in history. It was .......... (launch) in 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. It has since .......... (become) a cultural icon. American businesswoman Ruth Handler .......... (come) up with the idea of an adult doll for small girls after .......... (see) her daughter dressing up paper dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ .......... (come) from Handler’s own daughter Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were .......... (sell) in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have been sold since. Clever marketing .......... (mean) toy execs .......... (keep) Barbie up with the times. They .......... (adjust) to every cultural challenge and change. Her waist was recently .......... (widen) to avoid stereotypes that women must be thin. She also sports a tattoo on her back. Sales are also .......... (boost) by a range of pets, cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need.

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

TheBarbiedollisoneofthemostsuccessfultoysinhistory.Itwaslaunchedin1959bytheU.S.toymanufacturer
Mattel.Ithassincebecomeaculturalicon.AmericanbusinesswomanRuthHandlercameupwiththeideaofan
adultdollforsmallgirlsafterseeingherdaughterdressinguppaperdolls.Thename‘Barbie’comesfrom
Handler’sowndaughterBarbara.Over350,000dollsweresoldinthefirstyear.OverabillionBarbieshave
beensoldsince.ClevermarketingmeanstoyexecskeepBarbieupwiththetimes.Theyadjusttoevery
culturalchallengeandchange.Herwaistwasrecentlywidenedtoavoidstereotypesthatwomenmustbe
thin.Shealsosportsatattooonherback.Salesarealsoboostedbyarangeofpets,carsandaccessories–
everythingtheyoungwomanmightneed.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

The Barbie doll is one of the most successful toys in ____________. It was launched in 1959 by the U.S. toy manufacturer Mattel. It has since become a ____________ icon. American businesswoman Ruth Handler ____________ up with the idea of an adult doll for small girls after ____________ her daughter dressing up paper dolls. The name ‘Barbie’ ____________ from Handler’s own daughter Barbara. Over 350,000 dolls were sold in the first year. Over a billion Barbies have been sold since. Clever marketing means toy ____________ keep Barbie up with the times. They ____________ to every cultural challenge and change. Her waist was recently widened to ____________ stereotypes that women must be thin. She also ____________ a tattoo on her back. Sales are also boosted by a ____________ of pets, cars and accessories – everything the young woman might need.

 

 

came
avoid
comes
execs
history
sports
cultural
range
seeing
adjust

*  PROJECT BARBIE

Part 1. Your mission is to increase the profits and sales of Barbie. Complete this  table with your project partner(s):

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How Barbie is better than the competition

 

How to beat the competition

 

Part 2. Change partners and look at their project. Suggest improvements. Ask for advice on your project:

Part 3. Make a presentation on your project. Give it to the class. Vote the best projects.

*  BARBIE – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – Barbie CEO

You believe your company is the best in the world. It pays its workers very well and working conditions are great. Your company is very green – it cares about the environment. You think your levels of customer service are great. Disagree with person B, C and D.

Role  B – Barbie worker

You think it’s a bad company to work for. You’re very unhappy with pay, raises and bonuses. You are very unhappy with the working environment. You don’t like the company’s policy on the environment. You keep hearing profits are more important than customers. Disagree with A and C. Tell D the truth.

Role  C – Barbie customer

You are a customer of Barbie. You used to think it was great, but not now. Its workers are always very rude. No one ever answers the phone. You are shocked about its policy on the environment. You think all staff should get less pay. You disagree with person A and B. Tell D the truth.

Role  D – A journalist

You keep hearing bad things about Barbie. You want to tell the world in your newspaper. You heard the CEO gets a huge bonus every year. You found a company memo saying profits are more important than the environment. You want to know why so many staff are ill. Find the truth.

*  BARBIE – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – Barbie New Products Director

You have created a new product for Barbie. You believe the new product will be the company’s best ever. It will be a bestseller. There are people who do not agree with you. You need B, C and D on your side. Tell them why this is a product that will bring great things to Barbie.

Role  B – Barbie Marketing Director

You think the company’s new product is a really bad idea. It will give your company a really bad name. You think the New Products Director is trying to destroy the company. Try to get him/her to understand there’s no way the new product will sell. Try to get person C and D on your side.

Role  C – Barbie Market Researcher

You have interviewed thousands of people about the new product. They don’t like it or hate it. You think it will be successful if they make many changes. Tell the New Products Director he/she needs to change the product. You neither like nor trust person B. Disagree will him/her.

Role  D – Barbie Shareholder

You know a lot about Barbie’s new product. You are worried it will not sell and share prices will go down. You think A is crazy and must find a new job. You agree with everything B says. You don’t agree with C. The new product should not go on the market.

*  JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY

INTERVIEWER  (Write the questions you want to ask the candidate.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

INTERVIEWEE  (Write questions you want to ask the interviewer.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

*  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

*  BARBIE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Barbie in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

*  WRITING 1 – SPEED WRITING

Write anything about Barbie for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

*  WRITING 2 – LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Write a letter to Barbie. Complain about one of its products. Ask for a refund. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

*  WRITING 3 – LETTER OF APOLOGY

Write a letter of apology to the customer. Explain why you cannot give a refund. Show your partner your letter. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

*  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about Barbie. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Barbie. What have they done recently? What are their plans? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. BARBIE POSTER Make a poster about Barbie. Make sure you sell the company to the public.  Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY BARBIE LESSON: Make your own English lesson on Barbie. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on Barbie. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

Help Support This Website

  • Please consider a Donation.
  • Recommend the site on blogs, forums and other sites.
  • Link this site.
  • Consider buying my 1,000 Ideas and Activities book.

Sean Banville's Other Websites

I also have thousands of other lessons
on my other websites.


 
 

 


Free ESL Materials Website

Free ESL Materials.com: A site containing links to free materials for ESL teachers and students.


Links | Copyright © 2010-2014 by Sean Banville | Privacy Policy

www.BusinessEnglishMaterials.com by Sean Banville is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.