Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Are You Ready for Personal Independence?

Shirley Godbold
Walton County Schools


Through class discussion and self evaluation, students will discover what independence means to different individuals.


The student knows how expanding abilities, independence, and responsibilities associated with maturation influence personal behavior.


-Chalkboard/white board,
-Notebook paper,
-Textbooks such as CREATIVE LIVING by Bennett and McKnight and PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES by Paolucci, Faiola and Thompson
-Overhead of Hurry Up (see associated file)


Assign students to read passages, such as Perspectives on Living from -Persoanl Perspective- by Paolucci, Faiola, and Thompson or Making Decision for Now and for your Future from -Creative Living- by Bennett and McKnight
These texts are available from textbook companies or you may use any Family and Consumer Science Textbook that deal with independence and self image.


1. On a sheet of notebook paper, have each student make the following diagram: Draw a long horizontal line. Mark one end with a zero and the phrase -Not at all.' Mark the other end 100 or -very Much.- Mark the middle with a short vertical line, the number 50, and the word -maybe.-

2. Put the same sketch on the chalk/white board.

3. Have each student place an X at any point on the line (on their individual papers) that represents most accurately how prepared that student thinks he is ready to live independently.

4. Collect the papers and transfer responses to the same relative position on the chalk/white board line. At this time discuss the pattern of the responses from the class. (Example: At least half of you think you are somewhat ready to move out and be independent, Just 3 people think they can be totally independent, etc.)

5. At this time, show the overhead transparency, Hurry Up (see associated file) and discuss what students think it might mean. Help them to conclude that some teenagers think they know more than they really do, so the message is a sarcastic one, urging them to move out before they realize they might not be quite as prepared as they think they are to live independently.)

6. Ask students to brainstorm areas that require readiness for independent living such as emotional or financial. (Additional areas could include: relationships, social skills, handicaps, education, occupation, health choices, self-discipline, responsibility) List all suggested by the students on the board.

7. Divide the class into small groups and assign each group one of the topics listed on the board. Give groups 15 minutes to discuss and list all of the ideas associated with their area that would be needed for independent living. Ask one person in the group to be the recorder. (You may need to model how to do this on the board. As an example, use self-discipline. Elicit responses such as: paying bills instead of eating out, waking up on time to go to work, keeping the place you live clean, etc.)

8. Have groups report to the class and discuss their ideas. Individual students should take notes because they will use these notes on the assessment.

9. At this time return the the charts completed at the beginning of class to the students. Ask students to look at their charts. Ask them to again decide where they would place the X on the line. Record their answers on the chart on the board. Discuss with students why most of them moved the X toward zero.


Formatively assess students as they work in the groups. Circulate and encourage those who are not participating.
Students write two paragraphs using the notes taken in class. In the first paragraph they describe how they are independent. In the second paragraph they describe how they are still dependent. There are no right or wrong answers. Students should be able to list several ways they are dependent and independent. For those who are having difficulty, refer them to the notes taken in class and remind them of the discussion.


Continue with a follow up discussion of mature personalities.
ESE/ESOL students can be paired up with other students to help them formulate their answers. Gifted students can take it into a third question such as -how can you change your dependence and or independence.-

Web Links

Web supplement for Are You Ready for Personal Independence?
Michigan Family Independence Agency

Web supplement for Are You Ready for Personal Independence?
Canine Companions

Attached Files

A sheet to be used as a transparency.     File Extension: pdf

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