Life Skills Lesson Plans

Life skills lesson plans cover the personal and interpersonal skills that promote a healthy, successful and independent life. Used in classrooms, rehabilitation, households and workplaces, life skills coaching benefits people of all ages and at all levels of psychosocial development.

Choosing a lesson

The lesson plan should include skills and concepts that match the needs and development of the class or individual. And because the term “life skills” includes such a wide variety of concepts and activities, it’s possible to take a two-fold approach that focuses on both the psychological and behavioral aspects of a skill.

Examine the following life skills to choose those which apply to your students:

Stress Reduction : High levels of stress impact mental and physical health while placing strain on interpersonal relationships. A lesson and activity on stress management applies to any age group of any background.

Decision-Making Skills: A person’s decisions in life can have long-term benefits or consequences. This lesson includes critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which must be modified to match the age and development of the students.

Personal Development: Self-esteem and self awareness influence a person’s ability to manage stress and interpersonal relationships. An integrative approach to mental, physical and spiritual growth can assist students with skill development in other areas.

Goal Setting : A goal plan addresses psychological and behavioral concepts, as a student can learn the value of positive reinforcement (rewards) combined with short-term and long-term goal achievement.

Interpersonal Skills: Assertiveness , effective communication, empathy and respect for others are the basis for forming positive relationships and resolving conflicts. These skills can evolve throughout a person’s lifetime and are applicable to all ages.

Life Management: Some students may benefit from ordinary life management skills, such as budgeting and maintaining a home.


Lectures on any of the above skills sets provide an outline of the concepts, as can a printed handout, but a lecture is perhaps the least effective tool for teaching life skills. Whether working with a group or individual, it’s important that the concepts apply on a personal level to the student(s).

Engage them in a discussion of how the skill will benefit their lives. For example, students may note that a goal plan will help them reduce stress and manage time.

Discuss the concepts — the difficulties, benefits, and underlying psychosocial factors — before moving into the action of the lesson plan. This provides students with the mental framework needed to engage in an activity.


Choose an activity that suits the lesson. For example, teach a stress management technique for stress reduction, or ask the students to identify personal goals and complete a goal-setting worksheet . For basic life management skills, assist the person(s) with completing a task, such as a weekly budget, and provide them with feedback along the way.

Applying Life Skills

Encourage students to reflect on the information and activities in life skills lesson plans after the course is complete, as this helps them retain the information and prompts them to think about how the skill applies to their everyday lives.

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Self-esteem home page from life skills lesson plans

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