This page teaches how to use the Lesson Plans for Life using the following sections:
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The Lesson Plans for Life are weekly theme-based lesson plan guides for designing what an Educator and Learner will focus on for one week. When used as described on this page, each of these lesson plans guides can be used to produce a lesson plan for teaching all subjects, to all learning levels, within the context of the central theme. They can be used in any learning environment as stand-alone lessons or as part of the complete program.
To make an even more comprehensive learning experience, combine the lesson plans with the Teaching Strategies for Life, Curriculum for Life, core curriculum (to meet national and state standards), and the 7 foundational open source subject resources:
NOTE: All lessons were designed with the goal of expanding creativity and critical thinking while also teaching all subjects. With this in mind, on everything other than the facts of each subject, the emphasis should be placed on enhancing imagination and expanding an individual’s capability to formulate an argument or rationale, rather than on the degree to which the instructor feels the answer/presentation/project is specifically correct or incorrect. What is more important is the reasoning, ability to defend that reasoning, and process used to create it.
We are in the process of designing a full year of these lesson plans. Click the image below to visit the index:
Here is an overview of the primary components of each lesson plan. Detailed descriptions for each letter are below the image. The lesson plan shown is with the central theme of “Highest Good.”
Each lesson plan mindmap is an overview and visual representation of the foundations of each lesson plan. Use it to initiate an Educator/Learner conversation about the central theme and its relationship to all the subjects. Ask questions like:
Use the answers you receive to guide and inspire your lesson plan design. You can also use the mindmaps as standalone lesson plan creation tools, generating your own lessons using the pictures as creative inspiration with or without the lesson plans.
The subject icons are to take you directly to each subject within the page:
Each lesson can be combined with any one or more of the other components of the education program. Here’s how each one works specifically with the Lesson Plans for Life component:
|Foundations of Being: Combine with this component to improve both Educator and Learner communication and leadership skills when teaching, collaborating on, and executing a lesson plan. A good way to start is to pick just one area or skill from this page and focus on integrating that area or skill into the lesson plan for the entire week.|
|Curriculum: Use this component to broaden subject concepts and stimulate new ideas when individualizing a lesson plan with a Learner. The areas within this component are in many cases interchangeable with the related content suggested in the lesson plans. If you’d like to change or diversify any part of a lesson plan, exploring the Curriculum for Life is a great place to start.|
|Teaching Strategies: Use these strategies as ideas for combining the different sections of a lesson plan. They can also be used for ideas on how to make learning individual sections more fun and interesting. A good way to start with this component is for the Educator and the Learner to first pick the bullet points they want to focus on, then visit the Teaching Strategies for Life to find the strategy that you both feel would best combine and/or enhance the bullet points you’ve chosen.|
|Learning Tools and Toys: Use this component for ideas about teaching and learning tools and toys that can be integrated into the lesson plans. A good way to start with this component is to look at the list as a path to thinking about what learning and teaching resources you already have that you can use. You can also use the list to stimulate ideas for tools and toys to add to your current “learning toybox.”|
|Lesson Plans for Life: This is the lesson plan archive of all completed lesson plans, as well as the lesson plans we’re still working on. When finished, this archive will contain enough lesson plan outlines to provide stimulating and unique educational structure for all learning levels, from pre-school through adulthood.|
|Evaluation and Evolution: This component is designed to create a collaborative learning and teaching environment that promotes growth for both the Learner and the Educator. A good way to start using this component with the lesson plans is to create a Learner/Educator “Growth Portfolio” where you both record your experience with each lesson plan and discuss how you can cooperatively improve that experience for one another.|
|The Ultimate Classroom: This component is for people interested in creating a complete learning environment. A good way to start with this component is to look at it as a way to stimulate ideas for improving/enhancing whatever your current learning/teaching environment is. A little conscious planning followed by even small investments of time and energy into creating an environment more engaging, interesting, and fun can go a long way.|
Visit the “How to Use the Education for Life Program” page for additional details on each component and how it works with each of the other components.
One Community is a global collaborative of volunteers creating open source tools, tutorials, and resources for all aspects of sustainable living. Use these links to make suggestions, join our team, and/or see how to help in other ways:
The subject molecules cover all aspects of the 8 subjects: Art/Music & Trades, English, Health, Math, Science, Social Sciences, Technology and Innovation, and Values. They start with the easiest and broadest concepts near the center and increase in difficulty and specificity as you move toward the outer rings. They can be used with the lesson plans to stimulate ideas and/or printed out and checked off as you go to make sure all aspects of a subject are comprehensively covered.
Use these links to directly access each of the 12 curriculum pages. Read these pages in conjunction with the lesson plans to broaden subject concepts and stimulate new ideas. The specific subject suggestions within the curriculum pages are in many cases interchangeable with the related content suggested in the lesson plans. Combining the lesson plan ideas with the curriculum for life broad-concept expansions, and the specificity found in the subject molecules described in “E” above, is enough for a creative person to easily expand any single lesson plan theme to offer unique and interesting lessons for a whole month or more.
These icons also link directly to each of the 12 curriculum pages:
The lesson plans sections are the foundation of each lesson plan page. They are divided into subjects and the areas within each subject are often further divided into sections specific to the subject (ex: Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science) and/or themes that progress a lesson plan concept from its simplest form to college-level educational material.
Within each section the lesson ideas are color coded from red at the top to violet at the bottom. These color codes are to avoid categorization by age and/or grade so that all lessons can be used to support both the areas where a learner is strong as well as areas where more work may be needed. Choosing lesson suggestions from multiple levels is both encouraged and recommended.
For those who absolutely need an age guide, you can use this one: Red could be Pre-school – 1st grade, Orange could be 2nd – 4th grade, Yellow could be 4th – 6th grade, Green could be 7th – 8th grade, Blue could be 9th – 10th grade, Indigo could be 11th – 12th grade, and Violet could be considered “advanced classes” and/or college-level material. Still, we don’t feel these grade designations are really accurate tools to use since almost everyone is going to have different levels of proficiency in different subjects. It is therefor suggested that any Learner wanting to do any color should be allowed (and encouraged) to do so as long as the Educator feels confident in their ability to then modify that color’s content to fit the experience level of the Learner.
By allowing flexibility like this within the lesson design, subjects that Learners are strong in (and probably enjoy more) can be used as foundations to help them learn other subjects. It also allows unhindered progress in areas a Learner wishes to focus on while also including custom designed and ability-appropriate challenges in any areas a Learner may need help in.
Ultimately, what the lesson plan sections come down to is maximum flexibility to adapt and combine them to specifically meet the needs of individual Learners and Educators. Examples of this are below.
The lesson plan images are graphics that we feel represent the section they correlate with under their respective subjects. In many cases you can also use them to reference the related sections in the mindmaps.
Here is an individualized example of a lesson plan that could be created for a beginner learner we will call Neil. “Beginner learner” could be any age. To demonstrate how this lesson plan is individualized, let’s assume Neil loves and is strong in Math and English, challenged in Social Sciences, and average in all other subjects. You’ll see from Neil’s selections below that Neil also likes to choose tasks color coded outside of the levels typical of his learning level.
Using the color coded system, the first step is for the Educator and Neil to go through the ideas on the lesson plan and choose the ones they’d like to focus on. The Educator knows Neil’s strengths, passions, and areas needing more focus. With this in mind, the Educator helps Neil choose from the ideas from each subject. Choices can be from any color and it is up to the Educator to tailor the chosen lessons to the individual. If no ideas appeal to both the Educator and Neil, entirely new ideas can be collaboratively created.
With as little guidance as needed, Neil chose the following areas from this week’s “Highest Good” themed lesson plan:
● Arts: Describe* what form of art brings the best out of people and why you believe that.
● Trades: Pick 3 trades you feel are HGoA. Describe why you feel they are HGoA and why you may be interested in pursuing them. Share* your choices and reasons with classmates.
● English: Choose the form of literature that you feel is most for the HGoA and write a paper* about why you feel that is, including research and references to 5 writers who have used that style in what you consider a HGoA way or had what you consider a HGoA impact.
● Health: Observe 5 different people in your life that you see as each having at least 2 unique Highest Good relationship practices. Interview these people about these practices and how and why they use them. Draw conclusions and share* your results.
● Math: Identify 50 examples of Fibonacci sequence, Golden means, etc and create a way* to show their significance.
● Science: Choose 5 things about physical science (from a list the educator creates or from a book) that you think have contributed to the HGoA and share* why you think that
● Social Sciences (Yellow): Perform 5+ Highest Good activities in your community and create a journal, blog, or vlog of your results
● Technology: Use a picture editing app* to create a collage of images that represent the HGoA to you
● Innovation: Imagine a new HGoA innovation/invention capable of dramatically benefiting large groups of people. Create* your innovation so it has at least 20 HGoA feathers that you can draw, label, or otherwise explain.
● Values: Pick 5 people that you really respect and ask them about what HGoA means to them and create a way* to share what you learned
Young learners would usually focus on red and orange sections but, as you can see above, Neil chose blue for Math and green for English because those were his strong subjects. Neil also was interested in the yellow idea for Social Sciences, even though Social Sciences is an area Neil is typically more challenged in. Red and orange were chosen for all other subjects.
Note: For educational purposes here, the narrative above was written without viewing the lesson plan to make it as unbiased as possible while. We felt this would also reflect the most interesting possibilities and potential randomness that could actually occur with a Learner’s choices.
The next step is for the Educator and Neil to create their plan for the week using Neil’s choices. This is done by creatively combining the ideas above. Tasks that are too challenging are made easier and areas that seem too easy are made more challenging. Areas Neil was drawn to (Math, English, and Social Sciences in this case) are used as the foundations for the week’s plan and additional ideas are accessed and added as needed from the Teaching Strategies for Life, Curriculum for Life, and core curriculum pages.
To keep this lesson plan simpler to learn from, we’ll only use the information above (no inspiration from the Strategies for Life, Curriculum for Life, and/or core curriculum) to construct it. Here is an example of what Neil’s lesson might look like, starting with the three areas he was specifically drawn to. Keep in mind that Neil is a beginner Learner and this lesson plan would inspire/involve an entire week of learning.
Learn what the Fibonacci sequence is and then choose a picture book that you feel teaches concepts that are for the Highest Good of All. Explain your choice and then find five examples you think could be the Fibonacci sequence in your chosen book. Next, perform 5+ Highest Good activities (or variations of activities) from your book in your community and show your results using the form of art (or writing) that you feel brings the best out of people. Share your creation and why you chose that form of art.
Pick 3 trades/jobs you feel are HGoA. Describe why you feel they are HGoA and why you may be interested in pursuing them. Now go ask 5 people that you really respect what HGoA means to them and what 3 trades/jobs they feel are HGoA. Use a picture editing app to create a collage of images that represent the 10 best HGoA ideas from combining your list and the lists of the 5 people you talked to.
Observe 5 different people in your life that you see as each having at least 2 unique Highest Good relationship practices. Interview these people about these practices and how and why they use them. Now choose 5 things about physical science (from a list the educator creates or from a book) that you think have contributed to the HGoA and use them to imagine a new HGoA innovation/invention capable of helping groups of people by sharing what you learned from the 5 people you observed. Share your invention and 20 different features on it with a drawing, dance, play, paper, or as an addition to the collage in Activity #2 above.
Note: There are no wrong answers in the above activities. Creativity and participation are celebrated as success. Non-participation and/or difficulty with the exercises are looked at as opportunities for Neil’s teacher to practice making the exercise more fun while providing suggestions for how to proceed. If it’s a component you are using, it is also an opportunity for Neil and his teacher to explore and practice some of the Foundations of Outstanding Leaders, Teachers, and Communicators.
Here is an individualized example of a lesson plan that could be created for a young learner we will call Sofie. To demonstrate how it is individualize, let’s assume Sofie loves and is strong in Science and Performance Art, challenged in English and Technology, and average in all other subjects. You’ll see Sofie’s selections below that she also likes to choose tasks color coded outside of the levels typical of her learning level. These choices usually are higher in her areas of strength and much lower in her areas of challenge.
Lesson plan coming…
Here is an individualized example of a lesson plan that could be created for a young learner we will call Katarina. To demonstrate how it is individualize, let’s assume Katarina loves and is strong in English and Social Sciences, challenged in Health, and average in all other subjects. You’ll see Sofie’s selections below that she also likes to choose tasks color coded at the higher levels of all colors.
See the “Lesson Plan Example for Advanced Learners – Reserved” for the opposite example of someone who chooses tasks color coded at all lower levels.
Lesson plan coming…
Here is an individualized example of a lesson plan that could be created for a young learner we will call Aaron. To demonstrate how it is individualize, let’s assume Aaron loves and is strong in English and Social Sciences, challenged in Health, and average in all other subjects. You’ll see Aaron selections below that he also likes to choose tasks color coded outside of the levels typical of his learning level. These choices are usually much lower than Aaron’s ability.
See the “Lesson Plan Example for Advanced Learners – Accelerated” for the opposite example of someone who chooses tasks color coded at all lower levels.
Lesson plan coming…
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