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Motivation ESL Lesson Plan

How To Get Motivated When You Don't Feel Like It

Student Level


Video Length: 5:26

Updated on: 01/18/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Motivation ESL Lesson Plan Description


This motivation ESL lesson plan contains activities, worksheets, and digital materials for advanced C1 students. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to use a variety of methods and strategies to overcome the feeling of being unmotivated when they hit a slump. They'll also be able to encourage someone who has hit a slump and needs some help getting out of it.


The first part of this motivation ESL lesson plan engages students in exploring the concept of motivation through various activities. First, they analyze images, identifying the motivators driving people to undertake activities (like going to the dentist, playing video games, studying for an exam, volunteering, and running a marathon). Following this, students engage in discussion about their personal motivations, differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic factors. They encounter a scenario in which a woman aspiring to be a professional artist expresses concerns about her waning motivation and seeks advice. The page concludes with a reflection on a quote by Homer Rice, emphasizing self-motivation as the lasting driving force. Throughout these activities, students contemplate the diverse sources and challenges of motivation.


The activities in this section are all based on an animated TED Ed video about motivation, specifically focusing on how to regain lost motivation, and how both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators play into it. Students begin by defining motivation as it’s defined in the video. They then differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and give examples of each. In the third part, they match endings to sentences from the video, exploring the effectiveness of rewards and intrinsic motivation. Finally, students rewatch parts of the video to find examples supporting the concepts discussed. These activities aim to make the topic of motivation easy to understand by combining theory with practical examples.


In these activities, students delve into the topic of motivation. They first discuss the usefulness of video tips on getting motivated and share personal experiences where intrinsic or extrinsic motivation played a role in their achievements. Moving on, they choose adjectives to complete some of the ideas from the video — including ones like “daunting”, “tedious”, “disengaged”, “fickle” and “looming”. In the next part, students consider a scenario involving an aspiring artist and brainstorm ways to stay motivated during a tedious project. They learn a variety of phrases to emphasize concepts like positive reinforcement, seeking support, practicing self-compassion, and breaking tasks into manageable chunks. The activities aim to provide practical strategies for staying engaged and focused when we’ve “hit a slump”.


This communicative lesson activity consists of two options, each with two steps. In Option A, students write something in their personal or professional life they’re working on. It can be a task, project, hobby, goal, habit. etc. They have to imagine that they’ve hit a slump, and decide on 3 methods/strategies they believe would be most effective to get out of the slump.

In the second option, students do a similar task in which they write something in their personal or professional life they’re working on, but then engage in a role play. In it, students describe the slump they’ve hit, vent to a friend, and seek out strategies to get motivated. The other person must encourage their partner and suggest ideas on how to get motivated in order to complete the activity they describe.

Benefits of using this motivation ESL lesson plan:

Comprehensiveness: The lesson plan provides a comprehensive exploration of motivation, covering intrinsic and extrinsic factors, diverse sources, and challenges. It promotes a holistic understanding of the concept.

Strategic Thinking: The motivation workshop options challenge students to think strategically about overcoming motivational slumps, promoting critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Practicality: Through discussions and scenarios, students not only grasp theoretical aspects but also learn practical strategies for staying motivated, including positive reinforcement, seeking support, and breaking tasks into manageable chunks.

Video Description

Embark on a motivational journey with the captivating TED Ed animated video. This vibrant video explores the intricacies of regaining lost motivation, exploring the dynamic interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

Lesson Activities


Motivation, Extrinsic/Intrinsic Motivators


Definition ("Motivation"), Extrinsic/Intrinsic Motivation, Sentence Endings


Addjectives, Phrases


Peer-Powered Motivation Workshop, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics


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