The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson

A free downloadable lesson about why smiling, even when we don’t feel much like it, can actually make us happier. The lesson starts with a short video, demonstrating the impact of smiling on the ‘miserable’ people of Edinburgh. After some brief discussion, the students go on to read a text about the various scientific findings about the emotional impact of smiling. The text and task would be suitable for students preparing for IELTS, especially at a lower level, but is suitable for a General English class as well. Finally, the lesson looks at a lexical set of idioms to describe emotions, and the students are asked to discuss how different situations might make them feel.

Download PDF here: ELT Resourceful – The Science of Smiling

30 Comments

Filed under Downloadable lesson materials, Exploiting authentic reading materials, IELTS, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary

30 responses to “The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson

  1. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | TeachingEnglish | Scoop.it

  2. maria bartoletta

    Thank you for sharing skilled resources functional for a target language.

  3. Hi Rachael,
    The same hypothesis (feeling happier when using your “smile” muscles) was tested in the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. They asked students to assess comic strips. The class was divided into two, one group had to use the pencil like the people in the video above and the others had to hold it in their mouth, like a lollipop. The ones using smile muscles while testing comic strips found them considerably funnier than the other group 🙂
    Great lesson plan, AGAIN!

    • Can you imagine how difficult the scientists must have found it to keep a straight face?

      • Karine

        I teach at an International School in UAE. I find it difficult to deal with people that almost never smile. So, I teach my students smile. They have learned but the teachers from different cultures all over the world, even Canadians that are not that far from the USA, think that the weird American teacher is wasting her and their time….People learn, but at a such a slow pace that sometimes a lifetime is not long enough….

      • It can be difficult when a culture is very different to your own, can’t it? I worked in Brazil for a couple of years, where everyone was VERY touchy-feely. That took a bit of getting used to, though I liked it. But then I moved to Poland, which is much more reserved, and it was quite a culture shock.

  4. Natalia

    Hi Rachael, thank you for a wonderful lesson, it is interesting and informative, i can’t wait doing it with my students. People here in Russia smile very seldom and i think this lesson will help me create more relaxed and friendly atmosphere during classes.

  5. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | teaching tips | Scoop.it

  6. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | FOTOTECA LEARNENGLISH | Scoop.it

  7. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | Tech Gems for Teachers | Scoop.it

  8. Maroussa Pavli

    A very interesting topic and well-planned lesson. I’ve used it with my students who really enjoyed every part of it! Thank you!!!

  9. Pingback: Recap of Resources and Interesting Blog Posts – 25 March 2013 | Stop Complaining – Enjoy Teaching!

  10. Reblogged this on New Teaching Era and commented:
    This is what I was looking for… thank you for sharing it with us!

  11. Maija Leikarte

    Oh, good stuff! Keep smiling in all difficulties! The lesson is helpful & informative!

  12. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | educational system | Scoop.it

  13. Muhammad Elhabibi

    Thank you Rachael

  14. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesso...

  15. Cleusa

    Brazilian students are always happy when learning a foreign language, they can laugh at themselves. This is a great lesson plan. Thank you for sharing. BTW, sometimes I have a hard time trying to get my students back on track again after having such a great fun.
    Regards from Brazil.
    Clê

    • Thanks very much for commenting, Cle. I spent two years teaching in Brasilia, and I remember the students as being able to get a lot of fun out of almost anything. Saudades.

      • Cleusa

        Dear Rachel,

        Next time you come to Brazil you should visit Rio Grande do Sul and its capital city Porto Alegre. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
        Best wishes and thank you for these amazing “teaching ideas”.

        Clê

      • I’ve never been to Porto Alegre, but have heard it’s great. What a wonderful name, for a start!

  16. Pingback: The Science of Smiling: free downloadable lesson | Englada

  17. Cleusa

    Check this out, Rachel. Hope you like it.
    Regards,
    Clê

  18. Pingback: The Science of Smiling | Journey Of A Thousand Smiles

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