Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Novice High

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

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

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. learn to use sense verbs (see, hear, feel, smell) in simple sentences. 
  2. use formulaic language to describe nature and the strengths of others. 
  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

Have students find a picture of something they think is beautiful. 

  • Give them a minute or two to search for a picture.
  • Share their pictures in a group and have them try to think of two or three sentences to describe to each other what they think is beautiful in each picture.

Activity 1: Vocabulary

Introduce the four sense verbs that will be used for the next activity: see, hear, feel, and smell. Use Appreciation of Beauty - Foundations.

  • Briefly give examples of sentences using each verb.  

Activity 2: Vocabulary

Distribute FL Beauty - Handout #1 (1).docx to the students. 

  • Instruct the students to take a couple minutes to look up words that they do not know using a dictionary. 

Activity 3: Speaking

Each of the 11 links in the powerpoint Appreciation of Beauty - Foundations (slide 9) contains a video of a nature scene with natural sounds. You can open and spend as much time as needed on each scene. 

  • Instruct students to look at each column and create a sentence that describes the scene they are looking at. 
  • Encourage students to share as a class what they see, hear, and to imagine what they could touch and smell from the scene they are viewing. 
  • After 15 min, ask students to share which scenes they like the most and which they would want to visit using the fluency line examples (slide 10).

Activity 4: Listening 

Play Short 5 Minute Guided Meditation for Mindfulness - YouTube (also found in the PowerPoint). Students should try to pay attention to the instructions in the video. 

  • Ask students how they feel afterwards or for a thumbs up or down to see how many enjoyed the mindfulness meditation exercise. 
    • How does this meditation connect to appreciation?

Activity 5: Speaking

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

  • Explain to students how they will know which column of words to use for each type of sentence, i.e. skills vs traits found in Slide 12 of the Powerpoint. .  Students may need time to look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary. 
  • Direct students to use the fluency lines given in Slide 13 to form simple sentences about the strengths (skills and traits) of someone they know and for their own strengths. 
  • Allow students time to share with a partner or the class the sentences they formed about the strengths (and beauty) of others. 

Activity 6: Speaking

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

  • The following are a few 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 besides a picture--could be 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 from their homework assignment.  


Watch a 1-min mindfulness meditation. How does meditation make them feel? What do they think of? 


Have students share with the class about an example of beauty that they saw in others. 


CC BY-NC: This work is released under a CC BY-NC license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you (1) properly attribute it and (2) do not use it for commercial gain.

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