Self-Compassion - Intermediate High

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. identify examples of self-compassion. 
  2. recognize ways to be more self-compassionate.
  3. practice self-compassion.  

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. review vocabulary about the topic.
  2. listen for major details and vocabulary in context.
  3. use hypothetical language to talk about themselves.
  4. rewrite negated sentences into positive sentences.  

Materials Needed

Additional Listening Materials:


Self-compassion is the ability to treat ourselves as we would treat a dear friend who is having a hard time. Self-compassion soothes the negative and grows the positive, therefore it is key to coping with personal limitations while keeping a positive mindset and attitude. Tell students that in this lesson they will learn how to be kinder and nicer to themselves, especially when learning a new language.

definition retrieved from:

Activate Background Knowledge

Go over the following words and examples with students. Afterwards, have the students think of their own example sentences in the context of their experiences learning English. 

Activity 1: Listening/Speaking  

With a partner, have the students describe a time when a friend was struggling. Have a couple of students share their 

Watch the following video.  Ask the students to look for examples of the vocab words they just learned.  Also ask them to look for examples of times they can be self-compassionate.  

Self-Compassion: Be Kind to Yourself

After watching the video, ask students to share examples of vocab words and examples of self-compassion they noticed in the video.

Activity 2: Speaking 

Talking back to negative thinking -- rewrite negative sentences to be positive.

Invite students to practice this anytime they notice feeling negative emotions/thoughts while learning English or in any aspect of their lives.

Activity 3: Speaking 

Use the PowerPoint to show examples of stressful scenarios.  With each picture have students describe how they would feel in that situation.

Ask students to imagine themselves in those situations.  What would they do to overcome those negative emotions?  Use “if…then” and modals “should,” “could,” and “would” to speak in hypotheticals. 


Option 1: Speaking Prompt

Ask students to respond to the following quote:

“You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love and kindness”- Shauna Shapiro.

Do you agree or disagree with the statement by Shauna Shapiro?  Why or why not?  Support your opinion with specific examples and reasons.  

Option 2: Have students practice rewriting negative thoughts.  Every time they notice a negative thought about themselves, have them practice saying something positive about themselves instead (they can say these new thoughts out loud to practice their speaking).



Invite students to share their experiences and discuss how kindness and self-compassion are helping them be happier in their lives. Have students talk about how they felt when writing a compassionate letter to themselves or when rephrasing negative thoughts.  Did they feel relieved, happier, or comforted? Praise students when they talk about their feelings about this experience. 


Review the words learned in the vocabulary activity.  To review you can:


Review hypothetical language.  Give students the start of this sentence and ask them to fill the rest of the sentence using appropriate hypothetical language.  

If I experience a negative thought about myself…