Top 10 Things To Consider When Writing or Buying School Counselor Lesson Plans & Lessons

    How and where should I start if I want to write my own school counselor curriculum? If I buy curriculum, what should it include?

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    Searching For Curriculum


    Have you been scouring the internet looking for lesson plans? There are some out there, but they are only "plans". What you need is all the things that go with a lesson plan. That includes lessons, activities, and assessments.

    So you are now thinking, I will just write them myself. Where do you start? Now you need a plan on how to write your lesson plans, lessons, and activities.

    ASCA Standards


    You must think about what you want the students to know, understand conceptually, and be able to do to show they understand.

    • Begin first by making sure you are working with the school counseling standards as the focus. Use your state standards as well as the ASCA mindsets and behaviors for student success.
    • Consider high expectations for your students.
    • Align your writing of materials with standards and assessment in mind.
    • Your lessons need to prepare your students to become college and career ready.
    • Lessons should align with reading, writing, speaking and listening to build students’ academic skills.
    • Create learning experiences: plan with the end in mind, consider what you will be doing during the lesson; consider what the students will be doing; what will the learning environment look and sound like during the lesson and activities; how will you know the students learned and understood.
    • Are the activities equitable for all students: general education, English Language Learners, gifted learners, and students with special needs?
    • Are the lessons comprehensive and coherent? Do they align vertically from one grade level to the next?
    • How can you track data on students who require intervention?
    • Prepare lessons and activities that will engage your students through their interest.

    Are you ready to write... or are you?


    I have created lessons based on classic children's literature. What did it take to cover the whole school year for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade? 

    In order to provide for a classroom lesson every other week, it required 4 units per grade. Each unit consists of 4 to 8 lessons. In the older classes, you have to prepare more material because they read much faster.

    The rough drafts took hundreds of hours. Then proofing and making them look nice is taking even more time.

    Rethinking writing your own?


    Whether you are still wanting to "build your own" or are looking to purchase, it would probably be nice to look at a sample.

    I created a sample lesson from unit 1 of my 5th grade series. It is only a portion of the unit, but it should give you a good example of a quality lesson plan & lesson.

    "Wizard of Oz" - Lesson 1

    Enjoy the first lesson of our 5th Grade “Wizard of Oz” unit for free! Your students will love going on this adventure with Dorothy and her friends through this classic story, while developing mindsets and behaviors for self-sustaining success.

    To get the free lesson, enter your name and email address below.

    About the Author Linda Kirby, MS, MEd

    An educator for 30+ years. Counselor in elementary & middle school, special education, and crisis. Teacher in K-5, special education, ESL, and gifted. School 504 and testing coordinator. Common Core trainer. Master's degrees in Counseling and Educational Administration. Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary and Special Education.

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