Let´s get positive! Popular inspirational quotes and how to use them in class

Levels: Intermediate/Upper-intermediate/Advanced

Category: Warmers and fillers

Aimed at: Teenagers/Young adults/adults

Aims: To encourage speaking in the context of motivational quotes/ To expand students´vocabulary/ To encourage group work and critical thinking/ To promote interaction/ To increase students´motivation/ To make learning memorable

Materials: A set of inspirational quotes of your choice or:


All the inspirational quotes used in this lesson come from a wonderful calendar that can be found at:





Using inspirational quotes in the classroom could be a great way to keep your students motivated, encourage critical thinking and promote interaction.

Here are some ideas on how to use quotes as warmers or fillers:

  1. What´s the missing quote line?

Have the students work in small groups and finish the quote:


Have a brief class feedback before revealing the answer:


Students discuss the meaning of the quotation in pairs. Do they agree with it? Can they think of a real life situation when they used/can use this approach? How does the above quote relate to their lives or the lives of others? Do they prefer the original or their version of the quote? etc.

2. Find your quote partner

Distribute the beginnings of some of the inspirational quotes you have found to one half of the class and endings to the remaining half. Students mingle and say their ending or beginning until they find a match. Once all the students match their sentences and discuss the meaning of the quote, distribute a handout with all the quotes for the whole class to complete:


Handout 1

Match the beginning of these quotations with the end:


1. If nothing goes right,


not perfection.
2. Don´t stick yourself in a category, the higher you bounce.
3. Don´t stop until


but it will be worth it.
4. Strive for progress,


you´re proud.
5. The harder you fall


go left.
6. It won´t be easy, your dreams get bigger than your excuses.
7. Success occurs when


create a new one.
8. Do what other don´t to achieve what others won´t.

Discuss the meaning of the above quotations with your partner. Have you got a favourite one?

Answer key:

  1. If nothing goes right, go left.
  2. Don´t stick yourself in a category, create a new one.
  3. Don´t stop until you´re proud.
  4. Strive for progress, not perfection.
  5. The harder you fall the higher you bounce.
  6. It won´t be easy, but it will be worth it.
  7. Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses.
  8. Do what others don´t to achieve what other´s won´t.

3. Quote corners

Have the quotations of your choice displayed in the four corners of the room. Have the class read the quotations carefully and choose the one they connect with the most. Students stand next to the quotation of their choice. Here are the quotes I have used:





Have the students discuss the meaning of the quote.

4. Quote of the week

Use your favourite quotation to start a week!


Use it as a topic for a classroom discussion. Have your students do the same in the weeks that follow. That way, they will all have the opportunity to share their favourite quotes with the peers. At the end of the project, use them to decorate your classroom space or maybe even the school!


Happy creating!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: