This lesson plan is designed around a short video which was inspired by Be Happy: A Little Book to Help You Live a Happy Life by Monica Sheehan. Students speak and write about happiness, and watch a short video.
Language level: Pre-intermediate (A2) – Intermediate (B1)
Learner type: All ages
Time: 60 minutes
Activity: Speaking, writing and watching a short video
Topic: Happiness and being happy
Language: Gerund as subject of sentence and imperatives
Materials: Short video
Downloadable materials: be happy lesson instructions
Write “Things that make me happy” on the board. Then write up 5 things that make you happy. In my case I wrote:
Swimming in the sea.
Being with my daughters.
Drinking coffee in a terrace.
Reading a novel in bed at night.
Waking up late at the weekend.
Explain to your students why each thing makes you happy.
Tell your students that you would like them to write 5 sentences about things that make them happy; they should use the gerund as the subject in each sentence.
Put your students into pairs and tell them to show their sentences to their partner. They should explain why each thing makes them happy.
Put your students into groups of 3 or 4 students. Show them the photo of the cover of Be Happy: A Little Book to Help You Live a Happy Life. Tell them that they should imagine that they are going to write this book. They should write 10 sentences of things you should do and 10 things you shouldn’t do to live a happy life. Give them some examples such as:
Be kind to other people.
Believe in yourself.
Don’t be selfish.
Don’t give up.
Tell them that they should use the imperative in all the sentences. Give them 10 minutes to come up with their sentences.
Pair up students with a partner from another group. They should explain their group’s sentences with their new partner. Get feedback from the whole class.
Tell students they are going to watch a short video inspired by sentences and images from the book Be Happy. Ask they watch the film they should compare the advice in the video with their own sentences.
Get feedback from your students ask them what sentences and images they can remember.
Show the video again; this time pause at each new sentence and image, and ask students to talk about them.
Ask students to write a short composition titled:
What I do to live a happy life.
I hope you enjoy the video and the lesson.