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December 2021 - Year 23 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

Instagram - A Useful Tool

Zlata Govedarica passed the CPE exam in 2018 and completed her CELTA certification in 2020. She has been teaching English since obtaining the C2 level certificate. As a young teacher she is always on the lookout for new opportunities and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She tries to live by embracing her fears.



Ever since social media platforms have taken off, teachers have been trying to find a way to engage their students in the material that is being covered in the class. More often than not, teachers are going head to head with Instagram, usually ending up defeated. Pandemic hasn’t been the best help in this department. As a result of lockdown, the average amount of time spent on the phone has increased. The new reality helped me realize, instead of fighting against Instagram, why not utilize it. Here is a way how to use the platform to your advantage.


Instagram – a useful tool

This activity works best when you want to introduce new vocabulary to students, especially adjectives. Instagram has a search button, where, apart from finding a person you want to follow, you can also search for a location or words. The ‘hashtag’ part is what you will need for the class. By searching a certain word in the hashtag section, numerous photos labeled by that same hashtag will appear. By looking at the photos students will be able to understand the meaning of the word. The beauty of this is that variety of photos will be listed, giving students the opportunity to learn different scenarios in which the word can be used.



Here is a lesson plan you can use with your students. This lesson plan can be used for teaching online as well.

Traditional classroom

Lead-in activity - plenary

As the topic of the class is a rural and urban area, you can start the class by asking a few questions:

-Where do you live?

-How would you describe your neighborhood?

-Where do your grandparents live?

Try asking more than one student in order to get different answers; write them on the board and ask whether the locations given belong to the rural or urban area.

Brainstorming activity – group work

Divide students into two groups (or for, six etc. depending on what works for your class). One group is going to brainstorm words that are connected to the rural area and the other group will focus on the urban one. The activity shouldn’t last for more than 5 minutes. Tell them to write their answers on the board, or you can write their answers if it works better.

Introducing new vocabulary – group work

Give each group the same list with words and an explanation of each word; ask them to search (in Instagram) for the words as they were hashtags; highlight that they need to match the word with its correct definition and write words that describe their area on the board.








a narrow road in the countryside or in a town




pleasant and attractive




contains bad and harmful substances




a small house in the countryside





attractive in appearance




energetic, exciting and full of enthusiasm




water that flows naturally along a fixed route formed by a channel cut into rock or ground




rom a long time ago, having lasted for a very long time




extremely small




a line of bushes or small trees planted very close together, especially along the edge of a garden, field or road




quiet and calm




containing too many people or things




describes buildings or areas that are in very bad condition




not interesting or exciting in any way


Individual work

After every group has finished, give each student a word to search again and choose a photo that best presents that word. Ask each student to show the photo to the class. Ask if the chosen photo could be described with any other word written on the board.

Practice – pair work

Put students in pairs and give each pair a photo. The photo should contain the exact location – the name of the place. Tell each pair they need to describe the place presented in the photo. Ask them to write their description as a short essay.

Additional activity – plenary

Based on the time left, you can turn the last activity into a game. Write names of places on the board; ask each group to talk about the photo they got, but remind them not to use the actual name of the place. The first pair to guess correctly what place is shown in the photo gets a point.

Online classroom

If you are still teaching online, this lesson plan can easily be adapted.


Even though some apps, like Zoom, already have a board, it would work better to find a website or an app that can be accessed through students’ computers, without you having to share it. I personally like However, anything that can be accessed through various accounts and could be used as a board will work well. You, as a teacher, still have to monitor what is being written on the board.

Pair work and group work – Breakout rooms

In an online environment, it is impossible to physically pair students up, which is why breakout rooms come in handy. The number of rooms you will need depends on the number of groups and pairs you have.


Please check the Pilgrims f2f courses at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Pilgrims online courses at Pilgrims website.

  • Teaching English Online: A Degradation of Degrees or a World of New Possibilities
    Aleksandra Jankovic, Serbia

  • Engaged Online
    Sandra Plazibat, Serbia

  • Let`s Jam the Lessons
    Jelena Spasic, Serbia

  • Instagram - A Useful Tool
    Zlata Govedarica, Serbia

  • Student Engagement in Teaching EAP with Learning Technologies
    Vicky Papageorgiou, Greece