Cold exposure and resilience: The Wim Hof method

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson is focused on the Wim Hof method, and the connection between cold exposure and resilience. Students learn vocabulary to talk about cold and winter, a few idioms and phrasal verbs to talk about resilience, and watch a short video about the Wim Hof method. It can be combined with the lessons “Meditation and the brain“, “Health myths“, and “Phrasal verbs: health”.

Speaking and vocabulary: After an initial discussion about winter and cold weather, students learn a few verbs (wrap up, be snowed in, snuggle, warm up) by looking at 5 sentences and matching the words to their definitions. To practise, they complete 4 questions with the correct verb and discuss the questions in pairs or small groups.

Listening: Students have a short pre-listening discussion about Wim Hot and the Wim Hof method, after which they watch a video “Testing out the Wim Hof method” and answer 6 questions. After that they discuss the video and their attitude towards cold exposure as a way to build resilience.

Vocabulary: Next, students study a few sentences from the video and learn idioms and phrasal verbs (e.g. be at the top of your game, go through something, take something to the next level.) To practice these phrases, they complete 5 sentences with their own ideas and experiences.

Useful language: talking about things that have been proven or not. Students learn different phrases that are used to indicate that something is based on evidence or it is just an opinion (e.g. it is claimed that, it is said that, scientifically-backed, evidence-based, studies confirm). They put the phrases into the correct category and then answer a few questions given. Lastly, they are asked to write their own sentences.

Bonus: As a bonus activity, students learn phrases used to say “It’s cold” and practise talking about their experiences with cold weather.

Unlock these resources with one of our subscription plans

Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

These are things you feel comfortable doing, like crossing the street or using the microwave.
… the idea of going to the gym, the idea of making a lifestyle change, the idea of asking for a raise.
See, when you take a cold shower, you are training the same muscle that allows you to say …

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

Additional resources

Keep learning outside of the classroom!

Share this lesson plan with someone who will find it useful

0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments