Health myths

Lesson plan overview

This ESL lesson plan will encourage your students to talk about common health myths and misconceptions, as well as alternative medicine practices. You can combine this lesson with “Cold exposure and resilience: The Wim Hof method”, “Superfoods”, “Meditation and the brain”, and “Phrasal verbs: health”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with 6 common sayings which students are asked to discuss (e.g. “A smile is the best medicine for a happy heart.”, “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.”, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”). Then, students look at common health conditions (e.g. headaches/migraines, common cold, allergies, sore throat, back pain, insomnia/sleep problems) and discuss remedies they’ve heard of for each condition. After that, they complete popular myths with the correct health condition they refer to.

Vocabulary: Students learn 8 expressions related to health myths (e.g. a snake oil remedy, an old wive’s tale, placebo effect, common misconception, to debunk a myth) by looking at 8 sentences and working out the meaning of the expressions. Then, they choose the correct expression to complete 4 statements and then discuss the statements.

Listening: Before watching the video, students discuss the health claims that are going to be mentioned. Then they watch the video “Medical myths debunked” and take notes about each claim. In a post-listening discussion, students talk about the information the expert shared in the video and whether they agree with it.

Speaking: Students discuss what they know about different alternative medicine therapies (e.g. homoeopathy, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic care) before reading a bit about each one and matching it to the correct therapy. Finally, students discuss 8 questions about conventional and alternative medicine.

You can use the conversation cards to review the target vocabulary from this lesson and for additional speaking practice.

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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:

A lot of people think that eating chocolate causes acne.
My mom tells me that I’m gonna get arthritis if I keep cracking my knuckles.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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