How do you define humility – English Teaching Lesson Plan

Hello everyone!

This week, I decided to share a lesson plan with you. I sometimes use materials shared from other teachers, and I think it’s time to give something in return.

humility The following lesson plan was created around a viral video called What if a homeless gave you money?, and it was designed to get your students talking. Below the text, you’ll find the links to download the worksheets.

I hope you enjoy it.

How do you define humility?  

Topic: Humility  

Aims:  – To give practice in reading and listening for information and argument – To discuss student’s opinions about this topic

Level: Upper intermediate or above

Introduction:  The aim of this lesson is to give students practice in reading, listening and discussing their ideas about a viral video where a man pretends to be homeless. To complement this lesson the students will have the opportunity to read an article about the benefits of being humble.


Start the class by introducing the topic of humility. Present the quote below about humility and ask the following questions:

 “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less” – C.S. Lewis

  1. Do you agree with this quote? Why/ Why not?
  2. How would you define humility?
  3. Is humility a good or a bad thing?
  4. Do you consider yourself humble?
  5. What’s a humble person like?
  6. Have you ever met a really humble person?
  7. What’s the opposite of humility?

Tell the students they’re going to watch a viral video called ‘’What if a homeless gave you money?’’ . Ask them what they think they’ll see in the video. Encourage them to be creative, and then ask the following question or ask them to discuss them in small groups or pairs:

Video link:

  1. How would you react if a homeless man offered you money?

After watching the video:

  1. What did you think of the video?
  2. Did anything surprise you? What?
  3. Why do you think people reacted the way they reacted?
  4. How did this video make you feel? Why?

 Discussion Put the students into pairs or small groups and asks them to discuss the questions below. Encourage them to ask follow up questions.

  1. What do you know about being homeless?
  2. Does your city have a large homeless population?
  3. Why do you think people become homeless?
  4. What do you think can be done to help homeless people?
  5. What kind of problems do homeless have to face in a daily basis?
  6. Do you give money to beggars or homeless people?
  7. Would you offer them a job to help you around your house?
  8. Would you rather give money to beggars or buskers?
  9. Do you think there should be more help for beggars, homeless and poor people in your town or city? Why?
  10. Do you think the government should give money to homeless people?
  11. What solutions could the government come up with in order to help homeless people?

Reading task

Show the students the text about the benefits of being Humble from the blog PsyBlog (, and ask them to circle the words they don’t know.  

8 Psychological Benefits of Being Humble (from PsyBlog

What hope for humility as society celebrates over-confidence, entitlement and the ego?

The poet Tennyson once said that humility is, “the highest virtue, the mother of them all.” Yet society celebrates over-confidence, entitlement and a perpetual focus on the self. People are increasingly competitive, attention-seeking, narcissistic, obsessed with their appearance and entitled.A new study, though, underlines eight ways in which being humble can help us improve our lives (Kesebir, 2014).

The author of the study, psychologist Pelin Kesebir, explains that: “Humility involves a willingness to accept the self’s limits and its place in the grand scheme of things, accompanied by low levels of self-preoccupation.” (Kesebir, 2014). Humility — or ‘a quiet ego’ as she calls it — can be surprisingly powerful in a variety of different ways.

1. Soothe the soul Humble people are better able to cope with anxiety about their mortality.mInstead of erecting self-defenses against death, humble people tend to find it provides a useful perspective on life and how it should be lived. When it’s not all about you, interestingly, it makes death easier to contemplate.  

2. Excellence in leadership Humble leaders are not only better liked, as you might imagine, but they are also more effective. Author of a study published in the Academy of Management Journal, Bradley Owens explained (Owens et al., 2011): “Leaders of all ranks view admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability as being at the core of humble leadership. And they view these three behaviors as being powerful predictors of their own as well as the organization’s growth.”

3. Higher self-control Having high self-control is one key to a successful life. Oddly, perhaps, studies have found that an obsession with the self can paradoxically lead to lower self-control.The humble, though, because they place less importance on the self, exhibit higher self-control in many situations.Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that humble people tend to know their limits.

4. Better work performance The humble not only make better managers, but they also make better employees.A study of employees’ supervisors found that being honest and humble was a good predictor of people’s job performance (Megan et al., 2011).

5. Higher grades Perhaps being a better employee and better manager has its roots in the formative years.A study of 55 students has found that those who were more humble did better academically (Rowatt et al., 2006).Being humble, therefore, may make you better in school.

6. Less prejudice One of the characteristics of being humble is having a low sense of entitlement. Humble people don’t think they are owed things.This leads to a less prejudiced view of the world, encouraging  them to be tolerant to others and less defensive about their own beliefs.

7. More helpful Humble people are, on average, more helpful than people who are conceited or egotistical.In a study by LaBouff et al. (2011), participants who were more humble, were more likely to offer help, and offered more of their time, to those in need.Unsurprisingly, humble people have also been found to be more generous.

8. Better relationships Humble people may have better relationships because they accept other people for who they are.A study by Davis et al. (2012) of groups of people found that humility helped to repair relationships and built stronger bonds between people.

Explain any new vocabulary and ask the students to number the benefits of being humble from 1 to 8, where 1 is the most important and 8 the least important. Ask the students to compare their answers and discuss their choices.

 Extra practice – Writing

  1. Ask students to brainstorm reasons in favor of and against being humble, and write them on the board.
  2. Ask students to choose what they would like to write about . Reasons for being humble or Reasons for not being humble. The ideal would be to divide the students into 2 groups, one in favor of and the other against being humble
  3. Students create a title for their text and a topic statement.
  4. Students use the brainstormed ideas and ideas of their own to support their topic.

Please let me us know if this lesson plan worked well for you.

We really would like to hear from you.

See you!

Teacher WIll


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