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Updated by sjade92 on Jun 10, 2016
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21st Century 12th-Grade Learners

Here are lesson plans to help 12th-Grade learners develop the 8 most important skills they need in the 21st Century.

Leadership: What Makes a Leader?

This lesson plan is developed to help students learn about and develop their skills in Leadership. Students will identify a key leader from the past, or present, and develop a list of skills and attributes that leader had. What made them able to rise up and become a leader? What skills are necessary to become a leader? Students will identify the key traits of leaders and then use that knowledge to develop their own understanding of leadership, what a leader is, and what skills they might have in leadership. They also develop understanding on what it takes to become a leader, or what skills they would need in a leadership role. Some extension is provided in the form of an essay detailing their thoughts and understanding of leadership and what those roles mean.

Defining Literacy in a Digital World - ReadWriteThink

This lesson plan is designed to help students think about literacy around the entire spectrum, from digital to print. It isn't focused solely on digital literacy, but does put a lot of emphasis on digital and opens minds to thinking about all different formats as text and literacy. Students explore all kinds of literature and text, both digital and traditional, to understand that we are surrounding by literacy all day and even the things we don't think about, like ads, internet, television, and many more things we are surrounded by all day are actually text. It exposes children to understanding we live in a world of literacy and we have to have digital literacy to succeed in life. Understanding the things around us are a big key to being successful.

Communication - Persuasive Communication

One of the 8 key skills that 21st Century learners require is Communication. This lesson is focused on one particular aspect of Communication - Persuasive Communication. The activities in the lesson surround getting students to think about persuasive communication and the ways we are exposed to it every day. To sell something, you need to persuade the shopper that your product is the right product or the best for the situation. By exploring ads, you can explore some of the aspects of persuasive communication. Then, drawing upon those aspects you found, the class comes up with effective ways of being a persuasive communication. They are then tasked with creating their own product and using their knowledge of persuasive communication to sell their product to their classmates through an effective ad. This lesson plan gives good insight into different types of communication and gives the necessary groundwork into being an effective communicator.

Emotional Intelligence

This lesson plan focuses on the aspect of Emotional Intelligence. It is called "Positive Boundaries" and gets students to explore their emotions and how to control them. It is not a single-day lesson plan, but is a unit that focuses on developing their understandings of emotions and more importantly, how they can be controlled in unstable times. It is designed to provide students with self-respect and healthy boundaries. The main idea of the lesson is to get students to think that they are surrounded by a bubble and they have control of what comes in or goes out. They can let in the good feelings and ignore the things that trigger us to have negative feelings. You read a short book that is available online, then discuss the aspects of emotional intelligence and safe boundaries that are explored by the book. You then have a class discussion in the coming days, talking about self-respect and how to handle the negative aspects of life. It is about creating an environment where students feel safe to explore and talk about their emotions. This is an essential part of a 21st century learner, to have this emotional intelligence because at that age, teenagers have to develop this ability as their emotions can fluctuate wildly.


Entrepreneurship is an essential skill that 21st Century Learners need to understand. This lesson plan develops the idea of Entrepreneurship in today's society by exploring entrepreneurship through a scavenger hunt. They are given a list of websites on a handout, and then asked to explore the websites and answer questions about each entrepreneur. This gets them to use the internet to research and discover answers to questions on the worksheet. It also exposes them to different entrepreneurs and what they have done to get where they are today. It asks them to think about and discover what made these different people successful, and the various aspects of being an entrepreneur. It is designed to get students thinking about what it takes to get started in the business world and how to become successful.

Global Citizenship - What is Global Citizenship?

This link provides an entire unit on Global Citizenship for a Grade 12 classroom. I am going to focus on the first lesson called: What is Global Citizenship? This lesson introduces students to the concept of Global Citizenship. What is it? Where did this term come from? It starts by exploring the citizenship in individual countries, like being a U.S. Citizen. It then explores how that has developed and changed since the introduction of the United Nations and a modern world that has become so interconnected. You then define what Global Citizenship is by outlining key characteristics of a global citizen. The lesson provides a power point presentation and breaks down the time spent on different areas. You start with trying to get interest in the topic by asking questions and exploring things of interest to the students. You then move on to explore American citizenship or citizenship in other countries. Then you finish with what global citizenship is and how it has developed over time. It allows you to explore the globe, how connected it is and tie it the internet. You can talk with people all around the world through the internet so the globe is more interconnected than ever before.

Problem Solving - The Quandary Game

Problem solving is an important skill for the 21st Century Learner. This lesson plan uses The Quandary Game to help develop problem solving. So what is the Quandary game? Quandary is an online game that provide students with difficult choices surrounding a planet called Braxos. They interact with settlers in a futuristic society, and they present the student with choices they have to make based on facts, opinions, and solutions, just like in real life. There are 4 episodes that the student can play through that provide them with different scenarios and different choices. The key to understand is that there are no right or wrong choices, but every choice they make will lead them to a different outcome where some may be more unfavorable than others. The whole class can explore an episode together so they can discuss it after the episode has finished. What did you do? What outcome happened because of that? Why did that happen? It allows you to explore the different outcomes and understand why something happened. Which leads to the development of problem solving skills.


Team-working is listed as one of the 8 essential skills for 21st Century learners. You can incorporate teamwork into most of your lessons in the year through different activities, but this is a lesson plan developed to help students focus and develop their skills in teamwork. it is a task that provides the students with 3 things: A bandana, a marble, and a plastic cup with a lip on the bottom. Students must work in teams to spread the bandana out on a table, surround it, put their hands on the bandana. They then place the cup in the middle, put the marble on the top of the cup, and then are asked to transport the bandana from one side of the room to the other without letting the marble fall. You can add obstacles to make it harder, or you can very the team sizes because the more people the harder it becomes to co-ordinate and transfer the marble safely. This activity makes it very clear to the students that they have to work in a team and stay focused, otherwise the marble will fall. It is a difficult task that you can make much harder through obstacles and other variations if the students find it too easy.