unit: mental skills needed for good work habits following directions

unit: mental skills needed for good work habits following directions
Essential elements: To develop skills that enable students to establish good work habits and
interpersonal relationships.
Objective: Students will learn the importance of following directions both in life and in the
Group size: Whole class (some activities may require one-to-one or small groups depending on
student ability).
Materials needed: A favorite recipe and ingredients, materials for sorting (e.g., colored bowls, trays,
file folders, etc.).
Resources: Following Directions by Jill Norris, Marilyn Evans; Follow the Directions by Denise D.
Nessel, Joyce Marie Graham; I’m Following Directions by Sherri M. Butterfield.
Note: These lessons may take several days and need to be repeated depending on student success
and understanding
Teaching Activities
ous people (they have to pay close attention to
which message goes to which person), setting
the table, etc.). Give each student oral directions to complete their job. Depending on
student ability, give one, two, or three directions at a time.
3. Give each student a sorting activity with written or picture directions that they must follow.
The difficulty of the activity should be based on
student ability. Feel free to use your own sorting activities. Examples are:
A. Easy: Have three different colored bowls.
Written directions should read, “Put all
the paper clips in the red bowl, the pencils
in the blue bowl, and the stamps in the
green bowl.”
B. Difficult: Provide three file folders and
various documents. Instructions should
read, “Put the attendance in the red folder,
the grades in the blue folder, and the
homework in the yellow folder.”
4. Using the sorting activities mentioned above,
pair up students. Have each student teach his or
her partner how to complete his or her sorting
activity. Have the partner follow his or her team
member’s instructions.
1. Choose a recipe that your students will like
(you could even make peanut butter sandwiches if you don’t have access to an oven). The
best suggestion is to choose something sweet
like a favorite cookie recipe. Show students the
recipe (make picture recipe cards if your students cannot read). Tell students, “When you
cook, it is very important to follow directions.
If you don’t, your food might not taste right.”
Demonstrate the recipe step by step for your
students. When finished, take students through
the recipe a second time, but this time leave
something out, like the sugar. Have students
compare the two end results. Which was better?
Why was it better? Reemphasize the importance
of following directions.
2. Tell students, “It is also important to follow
directions when you are working. If you don’t
follow directions, you will not be successful at
your job. Today we are going to practice following directions. You will each be given a job
to do. You will have to listen to my directions
and follow them for your job to be complete.”
(Sample jobs: laundry, sorting papers in various
marked folders, delivering messages to vari-
5. Have students collect written instructions for
activities of interest, such as auto repair, cooking, etc. Select one or two activities to model in
the classroom. Or students could take field
trips to see their activity performed.
7. Invite an employer to discuss the importance
of following directions in the workplace.
Reflection: Review and summarize following
directions and why it is important in the students’
daily lives.
6. Have parents discuss with their children the
importance of following directions as well as
examples where they follow directions in
their jobs.
Evaluation: The student completes a task with 80
percent accuracy.
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