A lesson inspired by “The Lion King”

A lesson inspired by “The Lion King”

This lesson is inspired by one of the most popular Disney characters, The Lion King. There are different versions of the movie that connect generations and teach us a lot of good things such as kindness, bravery, belief in yourself, and many others.

In this lesson, your students will be expressing their opinion on different matters mentioned in this movie, train their listening comprehension enjoying a well-known song and learn some new interesting words and phrases.  

Lesson type: Speaking, Reading, Listening, Vocabulary.

Age: 12+

Level: Intermediate 

Time: 50 minutes

Number of students: an individual or a group lesson

Task 1. Lead-in


Look at the two pictures. Discuss the questions in pairs:

  • Do you know what movies are they from? 
  • Have you watched any of them? 
  • Which version did you like more? Why?
  • If you haven’t seen the new movie yet, would you like to watch it? Why or why not? 

Task 2. Pre-listening 

Who are these characters? What do you know about them?


Have you heard the phrase “Hakuna Matata?” What does it mean?

Task 3. Listening 

Listen to the song and answer the questions. 

  • What is the motto? 
  • Do you have a motto in life? 
  • What philosophy lies in the phrase “Hakuna Matata”? 
  • Do you like this philosophy? Why or why not?


  1. The motto is a slogan of your life. It describes how you want to live your life every day.
  2. The answers may vary.
  3. “Hakuna Matata” actually means “no worries”

Task 4. Post-listening 

Look at the lyrics of the song. What do the highlighted words mean? 

Match the words to their meanings. 

Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase

Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze

It means no worries for the rest of your days…

It’s our problem-free philosophy


When I was a young warthog

Very nice


He found his aroma lacked a certain appeal

He could clear the savanna after every meal 

I’m a sensitive soul though I seem thick-skinned

And it hurt that my friends never stood downwind

… And oh, the shame 

He was ashamed

Thought of changin’ my name 

What’s in a name?

  1. downwind        a. something that is very popular for a short period of time
  2. appeal               b. an African wild pig with a large head.
  3. passing craze   c. embarrassed or guilty because of one’s actions.
  4. warthog             d. insensitive to criticism or insults.
  5. thick-skinned   e. in the direction in which the wind is blowing.
  6. ashamed of        f. here: the quality of attraction.


1 —  e; 2 —  f; 3 —  a; 4 —  b; 5 —  d; 6 —  c.

*You can listen and sing along at this stage or at the end of the lesson.

Task 5. Vocabulary work

Fill in the gaps with the words from the previous exercise.

  1. I cheated on the exam, and now I feel ___ of myself.
  2. Everybody thinks he is ___ but in fact, he is soft-hearted. 
  3. I hope the recent events are just some kind of ___ that will be over soon.
  4. This detached house has a special ___ to me.
  5. It isn’t easy to catch the wave and surf ___. 
  6. The lions hunt for the ___ in the jungles of Africa. 


  1. ashamed 2. thick-skinned  3. passing craze 4. appeal 5.downwind 6. Warthog

Change the sentences so that they are true for you.

Task 6. Vocabulary work 

Read the quotes. Look at the underlined words. Explain the meaning of these words. You can use the dictionary. 

  • “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance” —   Mufasa
  • “Being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.” —  Mufasa
  • “Look beyond what you see.” —   Rafiki
  • “Truth? But, truth is in the eye of the beholder.” —  Scar
  • “Wrong! The only checking out you will do is to check out of here.” – Zazu
  • “Sometimes what’s left behind can grow better than the generation before.” – Simba
  • “They’ll fall in love and here’s the bottom line: our trio’s down to two.” – Timon


delicate —  easily broken or damaged; tender. 

trouble —  difficulty or problems

beyond —  to the further side of something 

beholder —  a person who sees or observes someone or something.

to check out —  here: to get out 

generation —  the people born and living at about the same time. 

fall in love —  to begin to love someone. 

Task 7. Vocabulary work. Finding the words with similar meanings

Replace the highlighted words with the words from the previous exercise. 

  1. He liked being an observer rather than a participant of any competition. 
  2. This girl knows how to deal with the problems in her life.
  3. I think I am starting to feel attracted to him. 
  4. To see the real meaning of this phrase you need to look farther than what you can see at first.
  5. Get out of here before I get really mad. 
  6. What age group do your parents relate to?
  7. This flower is so fragile. A gust of wind can easily break it.

Key: 1 —  beholder; 2 —  troubles; 3 — fall in love with; 4 —  beyond; 5 —  check out; 6 —  generation; 7 —  delicate.

Task 8. Speaking task 

 Look at the picture. Name the characters. Hint: you saw their names in task 6. 


Key: Simba, Scar, Timon, Zazu, Rafiki, Mufasa. 

Discuss the questions:

  1. What were the roles of these characters in the movie?
  2. What do they look like in the pictures?
  3. What can you say about their personality traits?
  4. Do you have a favorite character? Who are they? Why do you like them?
  5. How about the least favorite one? What makes you dislike them? 
  6. Did you enjoy this movie? What was the most exciting moment? And the saddest one?

Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.

Alena Kladieva

Алена Кладьева

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