Regrets of the Dying (Upper-Intermediate Lesson Plan)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-intermediate
Lesson Topics:  regrets, bucket lists, death
Skill Focus
: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary, Grammar
Lesson Plan Download: regrets-dying-upper-intermediate-072022.docx
Approximate Class Time: 2 hours

Note to students: This lesson was made for English teachers. However, feel free to read the lesson and leave your answers to the questions in the comment area below.

Notes to teachers (Please Read!)

  1. The reading for this lesson can be found here or here. I did not include it in the lesson due to copyright. It would be a good idea to underline the key vocabulary in the reading.
  2. This lesson lends itself to a review of modals of regret, wish, and the third conditional. The lesson doesn't mention the third conditional but it could be integrated into the "Mistakes in the Past" activity in the lesson.  Here's an additional activity from the British Council for reviewing modals of regret.
  3. The Pair-Work Story activity requires that you give each pair of students an image. There are images on the last page of the lesson plan file (if you want to print them) or they are also below in the appendix. You could use other images of course.
  4. There is a bucket list activity in the lesson. To start the activity, I recommend watching this two-minute trailer for the movie The Bucket List. For a more comprehensive lesson on bucket lists, see Jamie Keddie's 'Things 2 do b4 u die' lesson.

Two hospital beds

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE Lesson on Regrets: Warm-up (Pair Work)

  1. Have you done anything recently that you regret?
  2. Generally speaking, are you someone who lives their life how they want to?
  3. What have you accomplished in life so far that you are proud of?

Reading: Top Five Regrets of the Dying

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Lesson plan on Regret, excluding the list from the reading and the images above, is copyright Matthew Barton of

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