Life Skills High School ELA Nonfiction Unit + Novel Unit: Based on Life Strategies for Teens & The Five People You Meet in Heaven: 17 WEEKS of Lesson Plans for GRADES 9-12

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This 17 week unit is based on anchor text: Life Strategies for Teens by Jay McGraw, which is very similar to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. In addition to a unit outline, all your daily lesson plans are included! Each lesson plan includes Common Core Standards for grades 9-12. 

Also included in this bundle is a ten week unit based on the novel by Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. This unit also includes ALL LESSON PLANS with Common Core Standards for grades 9-12.  


This 17 week—458 Page English Language Arts bundle has been a labor of love in the making for three years, and it requires zero planning. From daily warm-ups to lesson plans—it's all here! 

Depending on your class period, this curriculum will serve you for an entire quarter or semester and can be used as ELA, Homeroom, Career Education, Health, Personal Development, or Character Education courses. 

UNIT 1) Eleven Week Unit for 90 Minute Class Period for Life Strategies for Teens + Daily Lesson Plans

UNIT 2) Eight Week Unit for 45 Minute Class Period for The Five People You Meet in Heaven + Daily Lesson Plans

I used to teach The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and my students genuinely gained skills from Covey's text. After 8 + years of teaching The 7 Habits, I started using Jay McGraw's text: Life Strategies for Teens.

I have found that while Covey and McGraw's texts are both great, and are in fact very similar, Life Strategies for Teens is more accessible for youth, particularly at-risk youth. It uses more teen-friendly language, and the author talks more candidly and uses more real life examples as he talks about the ten life strategies.

My students say they like how McGraw "talks turkey." They also connect to this text better than they do with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens because they are usually familiar with Dr. Phil from his popular TV show. I explain that the book is written by Dr. Phil's college-age son Jay, and this grabs their attention. 

—11 weeks of detailed daily lesson plans with Common Core Standards for grades 
9-12 on each lesson plan
—Comprehension questions for each chapter in Life Strategies for Teens
—Pre/Post assessment on concepts in text
—60 DOL Paragraphs + teacher/student KEY
—"What the Heck is a Clause" handout 
—Anticipation guide/activity
—Two reflective essay structure guides
—Exemplar essay
—Reflective essay rubric
—Exit ticket
—Reflection feedback handout
—TWENTY paragraph prompts (two for each topic) related to:
Positive Thinking
Goal-Oriented Mindset 

*Each prompt includes a short color-coded structure guide for reference and suggestions to help struggling writers with content and organization (can be edited out for experienced writers).

*Highlighted advanced vocabulary (can be edited out for experienced readers/writers)

* An Editor’s Checklist

* 4-Point Paragraph Rubric

* One Exemplar Paragraph 

* Related Common Core Standards for Grades 7,8, + 9/10

For a FREE SAMPLE of this bundle, download the Habit Loop Lesson Plan free from my shop here:

—Detailed 90 minute lesson plan on The Habit Loop includes: 
* Daily inspirational quote related to habits (can serve as discussion and/or writing
* DOL (daily oral language): One paragraph grammar/mechanics exercise + teacher
* Link to video explaining how habits are formed & broken/ aka "the habit loop"
* Link to article about the habit loop: written by Charles Duhigg
* Habit Loop handout: reflection activity instructing students to identify one habit
they'd like to break, specifying the cue, routine and reward associated with that
* Exemplar Habit Loop handout completed 

Bundle offered in Word format so you can easily edit for your students' needs.

The second eight weeks of this unit are detailed plans for Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven. 

Few novels are as engaging--especially to reluctant readers--as The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. 

Students find the major themes in this novel relevant in their own lives, and in my 12 years of teaching, I have yet to have a student who hasn't enjoyed and learned from this text. 

—FORTY daily lesson plans for 45 minute class periods with Common Core 
Standards grades 9-12 on each lesson plan
—Anticipation guide (5 group discussion prompts)
—Final Exam/ Comprehensive Comprehension Questions (20 questions)
—Three essay prompts with three essay structure guides with sentences stems and 
sample introductions and conclusions 
—30 DOL (daily oral language) paragraphs + Teacher Key + clause handout
—Three creative project choices
—Five "section summary" writing prompts
—Essay rubric
—Summary rubric
—Literary term guide (blank: students must complete after reading novel)
+ Teacher key 
—Reading comprehension strategies handout 

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY UNIT (within Life Strategies unit) INCLUDES: 

—Detailed daily lesson plans for 90 minute class periods + CC Standards for 
grades 9-12
—Suggested film prompt: Documentary style film: The Secret (available on NetFlix)
—Film summary
—Film comprehension questions (27)
—Argumentative essay structure guide
—Exemplar argumentative essay
—Argumentative essay rubric

♥ ♥ ♥ BONUS OFFER ♥ ♥♥ 
Once this bundle is downloaded, you will be directed to receive your FREE eBook: Birdseed: A Guide to Teaching Emotional Intelligence in the Primary & Secondary Classroom: Daily Activity to Foster Social-Emotional Development & Personal Growth. 

Birdseed is endorsed by The Colorado Department of Education, by positive psychology guru and best-selling NY Times author Shawn Achor, and by psychologists, teachers, and students worldwide. 

Inside, you'll find a collection of THE BEST 365 inspirational quotes, (organized by theme for quick reference) along with a novel way to use them on a daily basis in any classroom to foster character development. This is an activity (referred to as "Birdseed") every secondary teacher can use to create an environment conducive to authentic learning (Have a closer peek at Birdseed in my store.). 



Carolyn K.