What Are Some Lesson Ideas for an Independent Living Skills Class?


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Independent-living lesson plan ideas, based on the age and ability level of students, include: behaving appropriately during social functions, finding information in a newspaper, job hunting and decision-making. Lessons in home management are essential for all young people as they move toward adulthood, while medication management and self-care skills are essential to those living with disabilities. Money management lesson ideas range from exploring the concepts of cost and value in pre-kindergarten to saving and investing from third grade through college.

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Some educators suggest independent living skills lessons on topics such as workers' compensation for third- and fourth-graders, and how to write a business letter for fourth- and fifth-graders.

One approach when teaching life planning and goal setting with high school students is to challenge students to create a map of their lives by placing words and pictures in a square at the center of a large piece of paper. Students then use words and pictures outside the square to portray how they want their lives to look in five years in terms of work, residence, social activities and other major areas of life. Each student shares this life map with others. As a group, the students then begin to identify goals based on their life maps.

When teaching independent living skills to children living with disabilities, one suggestion is to use an approach called chaining. This involves having the child complete the first part of a task, for example taking the spoon, knife and fork from the drawer, while the teacher completes the rest of the steps to complete a place setting. Lessons continue with the student completing more steps each time until he completes the entire task on his own.

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