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Becoming An AdultBecoming-An-Adult

  • Subject: Social/Emotional Health
  • |
  • Grade(s): 6-12
  • |
  • Duration: Two to three class periods

Lesson Plan Sections


Students will
  • explore options available to them as they become adults,
  • identify obstacles that may affect future plans, and
  • devise personal plans for the future, complete with strategies for success.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Library or media center resources


  1. Do a bit of brainstorming to get students thinking about their futures and the kinds of real-life decisions they'll soon face. Where would students like to be in their lives at age 22? What kinds of jobs would they like to have? Do they plan to go to college? Would they like to become parents? Where would students like to be in their lives when they are 30 years old?
  2. Ask each student to write down his or her goals for adulthood. Students should consider educational options, career choices, health, marriage, and parenthood, among other things. Explain that they will plot a course for the future. This course will be a "road map" to help them reach their desired life goals. Included in each roadmap should be the following:
    • Specific plans for the future, such as career choices and parenthood.
    • Strategies to reach the goals, such as education, being secure financially, or enlisting in military service.
  3. These resources can help students as they make their plans:
  • For younger students (grades 6-8), it may be appropriate to focus on the career aspect of growing up. A good start is Education World's Career Education: Setting Your Students on the Path to a Valued Vocation ( There you'll find lessons, links, resources, and more to help students research careers, build resumes, and even learn which occupations match their personalities. For students interested in careers in health care, Discovery School's Careers in Health ( offers a plan for exploring the field.
  • Few things are more life changing than an unplanned teen pregnancy. To help students understand the gravity of pregnancy for teen parents, their families, and the children, have them explore some of the Web sites listed in the "Procedure" section and report back on what they learned about the topic that surprised them. How might an unplanned pregnancy affect a student's future plans? How might it affect the unborn child if the mother isn't prepared for pregnancy? Probing such questions will benefit students who plan to become parents and those who don't.
  • In the program, Renee creates a pact that her friends read and sign, agreeing to come to her if they need help or support for any reason. Explore issues with your students that trouble them and ask them to devise their own pacts, expressing their concerns and ways that they can help one another.
  • Education equals earning power. Let students make the connection by researching average incomes and education levels. A useful publication that downloads in PDF format is at the U.S. Census Bureau page Students can read the publication, examine the numerous charts and graphs, and draw their own conclusions about the correlation between education and income.

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Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points: Students were highly engaged in class discussions and devised well-researched, fully developed road maps.
  • Two points: Students participated in class discussions and devised adequate road maps.
  • One point: Students participated minimally in class discussions and developed cursory road maps.

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Definition: A birth attendant who provides informational and emotional support to an expecting mother
Context: A doula helped Jen understand her nutritional and physical needs during pregnancy.

folic acid
Definition: A nutritional supplement that can help prevent spina bifida if taken before and during pregnancy
Context: Women should take a vitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to help prevent spina bifida, according to the Spina Bifida Association of America.

spina bifida
Definition: A birth defect in which the spine fails to close properly around the spinal cord during the first month of pregnancy
Context: Getting the proper amount of folic acid prevents spina bifida and the complications it can cause, such as paralysis, learning problems, and the accumulation of fluid on the brain.

type 2 diabetes
Definition: Disease in which the body can no longer process sugar, which fuels the body's cells. Also called adult onset diabetes.
Context: Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to eye, kidney, nerve, or heart damage.

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This lesson plan addresses the following science education standards created by the National Academy of Sciences:

  • Grades 9-12
    • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal and community health
  • Grades 5-8
    • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives: Personal health; Risks and benefits

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Rhonda Lucas Donald, curriculum writer, editor, and consultant

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