Lesson Plan Freebie

I have always been so hesitant to include my lesson plans in the units I create for teacherspayteachers.  How you teach is such an individual expression of who you are.  Teaching in special education, especially in mixed grade level classrooms, is even more personalized.  So when people asked me for my lesson plans, I always paused and thought, “I am not sure it will really help you.”  But then this happened.  A teacher from China purchased many of my units, and she reached out for help.  She explained that where she is in China, there is very little understanding of how to teach students with autism and other special learning needs.  She wanted to know if there was anyway I could help her help others to teach better.  So, as I usually do, I said absolutely.

After working all day on a Saturday, I realized this may actually be helpful to other teachers who have purchased my units (especially science and social studies).  By no means, do I think this is a perfect fit for any classroom, but it shares my experience of how I was able to keep a small group of kids from ages 5-10 all engaged and learning using the same material.  I give the typical time frames it took for each activity, as well as teaching tips and why it took me that much time to read through a book or complete a circle map.

Keep in mind, this is a GENERAL lesson plan.  So, if you happen to purchase a unit that does not have the labeling activity that is described in the lesson plan, for example, just substitute the flow chart, time line, or other activity that may have been included.

My science and social studies block were typically 45 minutes, so that is how I laid out the activities.  I am a big proponent of asking lots of questions as well as giving students time to share their completed activities using whichever mode of communication they found most valuable.


Finally, I am a HUGE YouTube and Discovery user.  I found short video segments were a great way for my students to hear the information in one more way, that did not require a lot of prep time on my part.  This can be challenging if your school does not allow YouTube, but I really encourage you to search for accessible videos to add to your teaching time that is relevant and age appropriate.

You can grab this FREE lesson plan filled with tips, links, and details by clicking below.


As always, comments and feedback is always encouraged and welcomed.  Also, never hesitate to ask for what you need.  You never know when someone will give up a Saturday to help you out.  Teachers are one of the most supportive and caring communities of people; one I am proud to be part of.

2 replies
  1. Jessica Dersham
    Jessica Dersham says:

    I just discovered you today on Teachers Pay Teachers. I started my first year teaching last month after a mid-life career change in a special education middle school, and started late after 2 other teachers resigned. I feel so supported by my school and fellow teachers- you’re right, we are always ready to help others! I want to thank you for taking the time to post things, and also share your experience. I have a lot to learn from you and appreciate so much how you are willing to share! For someone with hardly any curriculum and just jumping in, you’ve been a life saver!! Thanks again! -Jess D.

    • christajoy1765
      christajoy1765 says:

      Oh Jessica, you made my day. I am here for you!! Let me know if there is anything specific you need, so email me if you want to talk strategy. I don’t have all the answers, but am happy to brainstorm with you. Email me anytime at specialneedsforspecialkids@gmail.com. Make sure you sign up for the free resource library on the home page as well. You will TONS of stuff there ready to download.


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