English esl video lesson Minimalism

minimalism chair

In this lesson plan practice speaking about minimalism, answer questions and use new vocabulary from the video “A documentary about the important things”.

Minimalism questions

What do you need to have to be happy?

How can consumerism devastate people?

Is minimalism a good way to improve your mental health?

Look at the list below. How can these things change your life for the better?👇:

Laurie Loo The 3 Step minimalist challenge

Key video vocabulary

Obsessed

the thing you were obsessed about

Compulsory consumption

compulsory consumption

Getting rid of stuff

It wasn’t about just getting rid of my stuff

Minimalism video exercises

Watch the video. What do they talk about?

  • Black Friday
  • American dream
  • Travelling
  • Pollution

Complete the gaps with words from the video:

We get so wrapped up on the hunt and it makes us ___.

There is no question on what it means to ___ the American dream.

People are beginning to recognize that they may have been ___.

You are not gonna be happier by ___ more.

It wasn’t just about getting rid of my stuff. It was about ___ of my life.

Video discussion questions

Text

Additional listening and reading about minimalism

The text is below

Minimalism as an alternative lifestyle

Hey everyone in this video we’re going to talk about minimalism. We’re going to talk about what it is, how we used it as a tool to change our lives and how we’ve seen other people use it to help them explore alternative lifestyles like moving into a tiny house, traveling long term and even getting out of debt. We’ve seen tons of examples of how minimalism can have a transformative positive impact on people’s lives. So we want to talk a little bit more about that with you. So what is minimalism. Basically it’s the idea of simplifying your life down to the essentials. There’s a whole wide range of different ways you can interpret minimalism. Some people might take it a bit more to the extreme, for example, their living room might be just completely empty with no furniture and just white bare walls in just a wooden chair. And then some people might not necessarily appear to be minimalists, but they’ve still applied the concepts and ideas to their lifestyle. It’s a very personal process and it can take months or years to become a minimalist and simplify your life the way that you want it to be. And it’s also an ongoing process so you’re constantly going to be adjusting what feels right to you. Maybe the first time you downsize, you get rid of too many things and you feel like you’re missing something and so you might need to get a few things back. It’s a constantly evolving way of life and you just need to listen to yourself and do what feels right. So if we dig a little bit deeper into what minimalism is there’s basically three parts of your life that it can apply to.

Physical space

So the first one and the most common is your physical space. So how cluttered is your living space. And the idea is to really think and look at the objects and the things that you own and figure out what is essential what’s bringing value to your life what you need and what you don’t need. And then downsizing and getting rid of that extra stuff that’s basically just cluttering your life. And a really important part of downsizing is not just getting rid of stuff, but also making sure that you don’t keep bringing in new things into your life. So whenever you’re thinking of bringing in something, buying something you ask yourself is this absolutely necessary, am I going to use this, is it going to add value to my life. And asking yourself those questions can really help you maintain your minimalist space.

Everyday life and time

The second part of your life that minimalism can really have an impact on is just your everyday life and your time. It’s really common these days for people ourselves included to fill our days with work and social media and activities and hangouts. And it can get really overwhelming really quickly if we don’t manage that. And so whenever we start to feel overwhelmed one of the things we do is we try to minimize our schedule and make sure that we’re prioritizing the most important parts of our lives. And sometimes that means saying no to things that are not at the top of our priority list.

Financial impact

The third part is financial. The financial impact of minimalism so when you become more aware of the money you’re spending and try to cut back on those expenses that aren’t necessary. You might be able to see a little bit more money in the bank at the end of every month, which might allow you to get out of debt, maybe travel a bit more, maybe start saving money, think about retiring a bit earlier. The financial impact of minimalism on your life is obviously going to depend on your financial situation. How much disposable income you have if any and whether you’re in debt or not. So some people might not find that they’re saving that much money at the end of every month, but maybe it’s a little bit less tight than it was before. For example, we’ve been minimalist for five years now, before that we were not minimalist at all. We had a four bedroom house that was stuffed with stuff. And so just to give you a quick overview of what we did. We decided to simplify our life in every way that we could.

Fresh start

We basically wanted to have a fresh start and start exploring different lifestyles to see what would make us happier. So what we did is we sold our house, we got rid of our cell phones, we gave away most of our stuff and we started traveling. So we’ve seen huge positive impacts from minimalism on our lives. Sometimes we own more stuff, sometimes we own less it’s a constant process. And it really depends on what we’re up to. And also what’s interesting is that like you mentioned, we met a lot of people living all sorts of alternative lifestyles. And pretty much the common denominator is that all of them started by becoming minimalists by downsizing and simplifying their lives. We’ve made a lot of other videos about minimalism. You can check out our playlists if you’re interested. We’re also putting together a video that’s gonna be a minimalist guide for beginners.

Key minimalism vocabulary

the thing you were obsessed about
compulsory consumption
to get rid of your stuff
transformative positive impact on people’s lives
to simplify your life
how cluttered is your living space
to prioritize the most important parts of our lives
to cut back on those expenses that aren’t necessary
to become minimalists by downsizing and simplifying their lives

Learn more with BBC English talk about Minimalism

Published by Polina

English teacher, cultural explorer and Korean&Slovenian language learner

3 thoughts on “English esl video lesson Minimalism

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