Motivation, the key to learning and something all teachers strive to instill in their students! This lesson is designed to give us, as teachers, a chance to explore with our students what it means to be motivated, how we can keep ourselves motivated even when suffering a setback and what it is possible to achieve if we can keep ourselves motivated. The first video also offers a great chance for the students to learn about some idioms they may not have come across before.

The lesson is based on an extremely funny and touching true story about a group of kids who want to form a football team but have nowhere to play as they live on a tiny island, yet go on to form one of the most successful teams in Thailand!

This lesson is designed to be taught over two classes.I hope you and you students enjoy the lesson, please leave any comments on how the lesson can be improved or just let me know how it went with your students!

Stage 1 - Warm Up
- Write 'motivation' on the board and try to get the students to give a definition of what it means to them.
- Activity 1. Ask the students to work in partners to rank the motivational techniques from 'most useful' -> 'least useful'.
- Ask a couple of the students to explain to the class what they ranked as first and why.
Stage 2 - Video Work (1)
Pre-Task Activity
- Make sure the students understand what an idiom is.
- Activity 2. Ask the students to work with their partner to match the idioms with the meanings (this is to help them with with the main task).
- Class feedback to check their answers are correct, explain any they got wrong.

- Activity 3. Tell the students we are going to watch a film that looks at the set backs some very famous people have suffered on their road to success. 
- Working with their partner the first thing they need to do is fill in the idioms from the previous activity. Giving the students a context for the idioms should help them with remembering the meanings in the future.
- Once they have completed this they should try and match the setbacks with the person, and then what they went on to achieve.
People Matching
Post-Task Activity
- Students can watch the video below to check which of their answers are correct, it also provides a chance for them to hear the idioms in use.
- If you have a small class you could now discuss with the students why they think the video was made, whether they think videos like this are effective and whether it could help motivate them with anything in their lives.
Stage 3 - Video Work (2)
Pre-Task Activity
- Activity 4. (you need to cut out the materials below before the lesson) Tell the students they are going to watch another video about a football team in Thailand. You might want to give them more or less details, it's up to you.
- Give the students the cut out sentences from the transcript of the film. Ask the students to work with their partner to put the sentences in order and make the story.
- Before starting the film let the students know they will have to answer some comprehension questions at the end, so they need to watch carefully. Let the students watch the film and check the order of their answers as they do so. At the end of the film do some class feedback to check they all had the correct order.
- Activity 5. Comprehension Questions. Have the students work in pairs to to answer the comprehension questions. The comprehension questions are designed to have the students think about how, with the right motivation, we can overcome problems and get a positive result. If the students found the video went a bit too quickly, especially with it being subtitled, I've included a transcript of the video at the bottom. You could give it to the students to help them with the comprehension questions.
Post-Task Activity
- Activity 6. Explain to the students that, working with their partner, one of them is going to be a journalist from a local newspaper and will interview the other, who is a member of the football team. The journalist is going to interview the player.
- When I do interview tasks I give the the students an opportunity to plan the questions together to increase confidence, but when they do the interview they must ask one follow up questions from each answer the student gives, this encourages more free speaking.

Stage 4 - Wrap Up
- Activity 7. Discussion Questions.
- Give the students the list of questions and have them pick 5 they would like to ask their partner. I find that by letting the students choose the questions they are interested in it increases participation and focus.
- If you have a small class this would be an ideal opportunity to pick out the questions regarding studying English, and talk about how the students motivate themselves and to share motivational practices etc.

- Caption competition. Finally, to have a bit of fun you could give the students a copy of the image below, taken from the video, and have them try to make the funniest caption. At the beginning of the next class the students could show their captions and give a prize to the funniest!
I hope you enjoy the lesson and that it helps your students think about what they can achieve in studying English with the right motivation! 

Please leave any comments below.

02/07/2012 2:19am

Alex, this is great. I have been so motivated just reading this, let alone doing it, and i'm not joking. Your'e very talented at this, and your students must LOVE your lessons :) Nice one mate.

02/08/2012 4:22pm

Hi Shelley!!!! That's really nice of you to say, I appreciate it, a lot!! Hopefully see you soon :D

07/24/2013 4:02pm

This is a great lesson, can't wait to try it.
Thank you x

08/05/2013 11:45am

Thank you so much! This is a very motivating lesson on motivation! Great!

10/22/2013 11:25pm

Awesome lesson plan, my teammate used this with great success and I plan to use it with 8th graders this week. Just wondering though, where are the discussion questions you mentioned for activity 7?

10/23/2013 4:30pm

Hi Hayley, I'm glad the lesson went well for your team mate :-) I had a dig around and I think the questions below are the questions I was referring to!

All the best,


Activity 7) Discussion Questions. Choose 5 of these questions to ask your partner.
How are you best motivated?
How do you motivate your friends?
What are three things that motivate you?
Do you feel motivated when you are at school?
Why do you study English?
What is your proudest accomplishment so far this year?
Do you find that motivated people are more successful than unmotivated people?
Do you have an English goal?
How do you plan to motivate yourself to improve your English?
Under what conditions can motivation be influenced by ambition?
Do you find that motivated people are more successful than unmotivated people?
Does motivation affect learning?
What is your proudest accomplishment so far this year?
Can some people destroy your motivation?

03/28/2014 8:10am

Appreciate it for this post, I am a big fan of this site would like to keep updated.


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