What does life need to live well

Ingredients for a good life

Competencies and goals

The students ...

  • discuss the idea of ​​a "good life" and reflect individual definitions of happiness,
  • develop their methodological skills by analyzing a series of images,
  • promote their communication and social skills by understanding the needs of other people and exchanging ideas about them,
  • improve their ability to act by developing solutions for a good life.



The central question of the lesson is:
What are the ingredients that all people in the world need as a prerequisite in order to be able to live well?

At the beginning of the lesson, the first two pictures from the Happy Moments series are shown. In the discussion group, the students discuss which child is better off in the pictures.

The pupils are given the task of completing the following sentences:

  • I am happy when ...
  • I am unhappy when ...

They write their answers or draw corresponding pictures on two cards, one for "I am happy when ..." and one for "I am unhappy when ...".

The cards of the entire class are collected and, sorted according to "happy" and "unhappy", hung up for all to see.

As a support, an illustration can be used as an impulse:

(Click to view enlarged)

Work phase

In a discussion group, the students read the cards. Then look at the rest of the series of pictures.

The pictures show people in different life situations and illustrate various general requirements for a good life. These prerequisites include, for example, health, justice, the fulfillment of basic material needs or good environmental conditions.

The pupils receive the worksheet "Faces of Life" and use school grades to evaluate how the respective person is doing (1 for "very good", 6 for "very bad"). In addition, they think about what could be the reason for this and what the person may need in order to lead a better life.


The pupils discuss their results in a discussion group: The aspects of leading a good life are written on cards and attached to the other cards.

The teacher supports the process and, if necessary, points out further requirements for a good life: freedom, security, justice, food, health, participation, education, an intact environment and so on.

Then the teacher repeats the central question of the lesson: What are the ingredients that all people in the world need as a prerequisite for being able to live well?

To answer the question, a picture of a saucepan is hung up or drawn on. The pupils select the cards that are the ingredients for a good life for all people and "collect" them in the saucepan. The teacher notes that the other cards are personal ideas for a good life and are also very important for the respective person.

A final discussion group can address who has to do what in order to promote a good life for everyone. For example:

  • What can governments do?
  • What can the kids do?


  • Using three clips, the little philosopher Knietzsche explains what happiness can mean.
  • The pupils can carry out an experiment following the clip "Das shared Glück". They receive different research questions, for which they develop and evaluate their own experiment: How does it feel to 1) give something away? 2) helping someone with something? 3) keeping company with a lonely person? 4) to do something for nature conservation? 5) advocate for animals or for a specific animal?
  • The students create the game "Instructions for Happiness" together. To do this, each student formulates a lucky task ("challenge") on a card, for example: "Look at a sunrise." All cards are shuffled, everyone draws a card and tries to implement it.
Background Elementary School Secondary Education

Worldwide, gross domestic product (GDP) is still the most important indicator for measuring a country's economic development and the prosperity of its citizens. However, many aspects are left out of the calculation - for example effects on the climate, the environment or the subjective well-being of people. Experts discuss alternatives to incorporate such aspects. Their goal: A yardstick for the well-being of a society should help with concrete political decisions.

read more
Primary school

What do people need to be able to lead a good life? The materials help students to interpret the motifs of a series of pictures on the topic. On this basis they develop what the requirements are to be able to live well and happily.

read more
Series of imagesSecondary schoolElementary school

The pictures illustrate what people need in order to be able to lead a good life, or what they lack for it. With the help of the series of pictures, students can understand which requirements must be met for this.

read more

Download material