Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Intermediate High

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. recognize, describe and experience beauty in the world and in nature. 
  2. identify and describe the beauty within others around them and in themselves. 
  3. practice mindfulness meditation. 

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. describe various scenes in nature using sense verbs and nature vocabulary. 
  2. use adjectives to talk about character strengths. 
  3. learn new vocabulary related to nature, skills, and traits. 

Materials Needed


Explain to students that today they will be learning about something very different from their normal class time. This class will focus on appreciating--being thankful for--beauty and excellence. 

Activate Background Knowledge

To warm up, ask students the following questions:

  • What is a beautiful place they have visited in the past or in their own countries?
  • What is something beautiful they have seen in Utah?

Activity 1: Vocabulary and Speaking

Explain to students they will talk about exploring nature using their senses. They will want to focus on seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching for this activity. 

  • Distribute Handout 1 for this activity. Instruct students to fill out the Handout as you watch each video. 
  • Open up the video links one by one, each with a different nature scene. Complete as many nature scenes as time allows (Slide 9).
  • Ask students to pay attention to the natural sounds and visual scenes/movements in the video. Students can use their imagination for the other senses:
    •  What would this scene smell like? What would it feel like if they were there? What kind of activities would you do in each video? (swim, hike, etc.)
  • Encourage an ongoing discussion for each nature scene using the questions above.  
  • At the end, discuss which nature scenes they connected to the most and why.

Activity 2: Listening 

Play the five minute video Meditation for Mindfulness - YouTube 

  • Ask students how they feel afterwards: Did they enjoy this exercise? Why or why not?
    • How does this connect to appreciation?

Activity 3: Grammar and Speaking

Provide students with FL Beauty - Handout #2 (1).docx

  • Instruct students to review the words in the handout for skills and traits. Give them a couple of minutes to look up unfamiliar words.
  • Allow students time to discuss with each other the skills and traits from the list that describe someone they know well.
    1.  Are there any words that they would use to describe this person that are not on the handout? 
  • Students can follow the same instructions, finding their own personal strengths among the skills and traits from the list. Let them know that they can write words on the handout if they think of more that are not listed there. 

Activity 4: Speaking

Discuss the many places where beauty can be found (Slide 15). 

  • The following are some examples:
    • a beautiful building
    • a song
    • a sculpture
    • writing/poetry
    • A painting
    • Food / cooking or baking
    • A type of dance 
    • Inspiring people
    • Beautiful experiences (walking in the rain, laughter of a child, hugging someone you haven’t seen in a while)
  • Show the video A Drone Tour Of La Sagrada Familia | TIME - YouTube 

  • Instruct students to use their phones to find an example of something that they find beautiful--could be picture, poetry or book, painting, sculpture, etc.--and have them share in small groups of three or four. 


Challenge students to find a new example of beauty in the natural world around them. Tell them to prepare to share what they find in the following class period. 



Have students share an example of beauty that they found since last class. 


Watch a 1-min mindfulness meditation 


 Allow the students to share about an example of beauty that they saw in others. 

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