Kindness — a Talking Points lesson plan

This is a complete lesson plan you can use for English/ESL/IELTS classes.

It is on the subject of KINDNESS.

You can download the full lesson plan complete with other exercises and activities by signing up to my mailing list here: Talking Points

 


 

Introduction

 

What is kindness? Give some examples.

Are you kind? When was the last time you were kind to someone?

Do we need more kindness in the world? Why/why not?

 


 

Be Kind

 

Read Clive’s account below:

When I was younger I was selfish. I didn’t care about others and I had no sympathy for what other people might be going through.

Then something changed in me. I don’t know what it was but I just changed overnight.

I made a vow to myself that I would start helping people. Just small things here and there.

I am not a religious man but I just thought that by doing this — by being kind to others — that it would make me feel happier about my own life. That somehow I would get some kind of reward for it.

So that’s what I did.

After I made the decision I quickly put it into action.

There’s this elderly woman who lives next door to me. She’s ancient — she must be eighty if she’s a day. Anyway, I went and knocked on her door and I asked her if she needed anything from the supermarket.

I think she was a bit taken aback by me just turning up at her door unannounced. She said she didn’t need anything but she said thank you and that was it.

I knew she was just being polite so I left it a few days and went to her house and asked her again. This time she invited me in and made me a cup of tea. Then she gave me a list of things she needed — it wasn’t a lot of things. Eggs, milk, bread — stuff like that.

I went to the supermarket and got all her stuff for her. She was over the moon!

I told her anytime she needed anything she could just give me a call and I would go and get it for her.

I’ve been going to the supermarket for her for the past eighteen months now. I cut the grass in her garden and help her out with some other things.

Then there’s this youth club in my town. I go and help out there three evenings a week now.

I really like doing it. There’s a lot of teenagers that go there that come from poor backgrounds. In the youth club, we help them learn skills to help them later in life.

I’m an electrician so I teach the kids how to do simple things in the house — change a fuse, fix appliances. I even taught them how to install a light switch.

I hope it’s useful for them.

But I think I get more out of it than they do. I leave at the end of the evening and I feel like I’ve done something useful. I am helping them learn useful things and it can help them have a better life.

Being kind to others and helping others is one of the best things I have ever done in my life.

I feel like a new person and I feel grateful to be on this earth.

I know it sounds stupid but I really do feel like that. It costs nothing to help others. Sometimes it can be a very simple act — but it could mean the world to the person who you are helping.

 


 

Reading Comprehension Questions

 

What was Clive’s attitude to life before?

What promise did Clive make to himself?

Does Clive believe in God?

What were his reasons for helping others?

Who was the first person he helped? Describe this person.

What offer did Clive make to his neighbour?

How did she respond to his offer?

When did Clive talk to her again?

How did she respond the second time?

What was on her shopping list?

Was Clive’s neighbour happy that he helped her with her shopping?

How long has Clive been going to the supermarket for his neighbour?

What was the second thing that Clive did to help others?

What skills does Clive teach teenagers?

 


 

Essential Vocabulary

 

selfish

sympathy

overnight

vow

religious

reward

decision

into action

elderly

ancient

if she’s a day

taken aback

unannounced

stuff like that

over the moon

youth club

poor backgrounds

skills

electrician

change a fuse

fix appliances

install

grateful

a simple act

to mean the world

 

Exercise

 

Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

For example:

Notebooka small book with pages of blank paper that students use to make notes when

studying.

I left my notebook at home so I was unable to make any notes in my English class.”

 


 

Discussion Questions

 

At the beginning of the story, Clive says: Something changed in me. What was it that made Clive change do you think?

Do you think Clive is right to start helping people? Or is he being foolish? Explain your reasoning.

Why do you think Clive’s elderly neighbour rejected his first offer of help?

Clive talks about helping out at the youth club. He says: I think I get more out of it than they do. What do you think he means by this?

Do people help strangers in your country?

Do you commit random acts of kindness? Who do you help?

Have we become too selfish in society? Why has this happened?

Do people volunteer their free time to help in your country? For example, in a hospital or a school?

Have you ever helped someone? How did it make you feel?

When should we stop helping others?

What is empathy? How can we improve this in ourselves?

If you are kind to a person, but they are mean in return, how would you feel about it?

Who is the kindest person you know? Why are they kind? What lessons can we learn from this person?

What act of kindness could you perform today? Why don’t you do it?

 


 

What did you think of this lesson? Was it useful for your class?

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2 thoughts on “Kindness — a Talking Points lesson plan”

  1. It was a very good topic and in our times with all that is happening in the world, kindness is one of the best things we can do and practice. We must come together through things like kindness if we expect to get through the problems happening now.

    1. Thank you Leona! Yes, I agree. Kindness is also a little abstract too – so the students try to explain feelings and emotions in English. It is very useful for them I think.

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