Bye, bye bad habits! – A lesson on self-improvement

I’ve been thinking a lot this summer about how much my life has changed over the past year, especially since I started caring more about my diet and managed to stick to a weight-loss plan. As a result, I’ve been focusing more on healthy habits and I’ve come to realize how much our harmful habbits affect every aspect of our life, not just our appearance or mood.
Having all these things in mind, I believe  it would be great to introduce the idea of self-improvement to our students. We’ve all seen our kids become more and more stressed and worried, especially when they are in exam classes. Of course we all prepare lessons on how we can give advice to others using modals and conditionals, but most of the times we present our classes with imaginary scenarios that focus on advising others. However, I think it would be really interesting for students to focus more on their bad habits and see how they could improve their own lives.
You can start by showing your class a video relating to bad habits or breaking them. There are plenty available on Youtube (like the one you can see at the end of this page). After watching it, ask them how they felt about what they saw. Did they see part of themselves in this video? Then, they can brainstorm vocabulary relating to harmful habits. Following that, give them a blank sheet and ask them to draw two overlaping circles. On the one circle, they should write their name and on the other the words “My bad habits”. Remind them to leave the overlapping area empty! If you see that your class is reluctant to share their bad habits, you can give them a checklist of statements such as “I often eat clumsily when I am stressed” which they will have to choose from.
Once they are done, ask them what we normally say when we want to give other people advice. Write the expressions down on the board so that they can resort to the language they need anytime they wanr to. Now, they will  have to come up with 3 (or more) pieces of advice they would give themselves. They should write them in the overlapping part of the two circles. There are so many things you can do from that point on. You can split your class in groups of three (or more) and ask them to write an article about tips on how to break free from your bad habits. If you’re more into technology, you can also work on creating an infographic together (using for example) or a video with their suggestions.

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