Giga Coasters

Amusement parks have been on the news recently because of Banksy’s Dismaland. However, the topic of today’s blog post is much more cheery.

Two of my students are big fans of amusement parks and when I found an article about Giga Coasters, I thought it would be perfect for them. It may be interesting for your adolescents students too.

I think it’s important to have some pre-reading questions to get students interested in the topic of your lesson. If you know your students are into amusement parks, you could use these:

  • What is your favourite amusement park?
  • When you go to amusement parks, are rollercoasters your favourite kinds of rides? Why or why not?

If you are unsure, though, you may ask questions such as ‘do you like amusement parks?’. After listening to your students answers, ask them if they have already heard the term Giga Coasters. Here it’s a good idea to make sure students know how to pronounce giga, as it’s different from Portuguese.

Tell students they are going to read an article about Giga Coasters and that they need to answers these questions:

  • What makes a rollercoaster be called Giga?
  • How many Giga coasters are there in the world?
  • Which Giga coaster is the fastest?

You can find the original article here. It describes four of the five Giga Coasters. I ended up choosing only two of them, based on the language that was used to describe each one.

How Tall Can Roller Coasters Get (The NY Times)

Because I was dealing with B2 students I also chose to pre-teach two words, as they appear multiple times in the article. You could elicit meaning from students and then tell them if these are words they hadn’t seen before.

thrilling = exciting
hurtling = moving fast.

After going through the while-reading questions with students, but before talking about the vocabulary from the text, I suggest you show your students these two videos of the Giga Coasters mentioned in the articles. These should be particularly exciting if you have an interactive white board or



  • Which of these giga coasters is the most thrilling, in your opinion? Why?
  • Did you feel butterflies in your stomach just watching the videos?
  • How do they compare with other roller coasters you have been to?

Once the discussion is over, ask students to look back at the article and focus on the words in bold (which you can see below). Depending on their level you may get them to guess meaning from context or to match the words/expressions to definitions.

rather than
regardless of
a game-changer
stunning views
catch a glimpse of

Finally, it’s a good idea to give students a chance to use these words in context. You could ask them to come up with their own questions or provide them with these:

  • If the price was roughly the same, would you go to Europe rather than the USA?
  • Have you been to any places with stunning views recently?
  • Which celebrity would you like to catch a glimpse of in your next trip abroad?
  • If you see someone you know at the mall, do you flail your arms to draw their attention?
  • Which new mobile phone features would be a game changer?

Thanks for reading.

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