The hidden power of smiling

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Grammar - make sb vs let sb do sth

General English lesson plan


Did you know that your smile is a superpower? In this short TED talk, Ron Gutman shows results of some research about smiling, how it affects the way we feel and even our lifespan. It’s a funny and dynamic talk. Even though the speaker uses some scientific vocabulary, students should enjoy it a lot. This general English lesson plan is prepared for less proficient students (B1+).

B1 / Intermediate
B2 / Upper Intermediate
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


Firstly, students get some grammar. There is a comparison of make sb vs let sb do sth. Students need to study examples and then, complete the questions with make or let. In addition, students have to ask each other questions from task 1. After that, there is a short discussion on smiling and laughing. You can do this task in pairs or as an open discussion.


Next, students have to match words (which appear in the video) with their synonyms. In the next task, they complete the sentences with the words given. Finally, they should watch the talk and decide whether the sentences are true or false according to the video. This general English lesson plan finishes with a short discussion on smiling and the speaker’s ideas.

Because the video is about 8 minutes long, you can watch it with your students during the lesson and do the comprehension task (true or false).


This worksheet also includes some extra activities that focus on practicing reading skills and is prepared for B1+ students. It can be used as homework or in-class supplement of this lesson (if you have time during the class). The text is about clown doctors and the great job they do in hospitals. Students need to complete two parts of the text with provided words. After that, they have to write 5 comprehension questions concerning the text. They can ask and answer them in pairs. Finally, there is an open discussion on the topic of clown doctors.



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Leave a Reply

  1. Ann

    I think it’s a nice idea for the lesson, I like it. As well as my students!

    1. Justa

      Thank you 🙂

  2. Maria

    what a great message, thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Justa


  3. Holly J Fontanelli

    Nice positive topic for discussion! Good for listening to different accent practice.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Justa

      Thank you!

  4. AGM

    This is definitely not B1, at least the video isn´t, I am a teacher and I struggle to understand it!

  5. [email protected]

    Is there a whole section missing on the e-lesson? The last part about the clown doctors? I don’t see if on the e-lesson?

    1. Justa

      Hi! Yes, as mentioned in the lesson description, this part is only in PDFs as it’s a quite long reading activity.

  6. Raquel Trindade

    Really nice content! Thanks for sharing! XOXO from Brazil!

    1. Justa

      Thank you, Raquel🙂

  7. Lignum Nyelviskola

    I love the topics that deal with fun, smile and happiness. I have only one question. How can I change the subtitle of the video? It seems that the embedded video into the slide only offered one option. I couldn’t find the settings. Any help is appreciated 🙂

    1. Stan

      You can do that by clicking the Setting icon in the YouTube video player (the one with the cog symbol) which you can find at the bottom of the player. Next, select the Subtitles/CC option from the menu you opened. Finally, choose one of the many subtitle options this TED Talk has to offer.

  8. Storyteller_123

    Really useful lesson plan


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