For Educators

Living the “Good” Life – Background


Most people seek happiness, peace, pleasure and purpose in their lives. How these life elements manifest depends on individual values. In today’s world, people’s choices tend to be less driven by the spirit, and more by the pursuit of the material benefits so prized by our society. Yet, there are those who rethink their lives and take on new, more meaningful, more fulfilling existences, their decisions sometimes triggered by a powerful experience that ultimately becomes their calling.

In this lesson, student explore the core of their happiness, pleasure, peace and life purpose, while learning about individuals who repurposed their lives in ways that bring them great happiness and meaning. Resources include segments from RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY and Web sites.

Grade Level:

Grades 9-12
This lesson is intended for high school grades but can be adapted for middle school students.

Time Allotment:

Teachers can implement this lesson plan in a time that fits their class schedules. Activities may take one or several classroom periods. Culminating activities may extend over longer periods of time depending on level of student interest and commitment to the projects.

Subject Matter:

Social studies; English/ language arts; religion

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Describe elements in their lives that bring them happiness, pleasure and peace
  • Examine the difference between happiness and pleasure
  • Explain how they derive purpose in their lives (what gives their lives meaning or significance)
  • Explore how and why certain individuals have reshaped their life purpose/direction, and identify the factors that effected these changes
  • Frame a future life direction, with emphasis on what they foresee will give them the greatest happiness/pleasure and peace


This lesson was prepared by: Michele Israel