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Lesson Plan Guidelines: Using YES! Stories in Class

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YES! for Youth curriculum materials are based on articles published in the pages of ad-free YES! magazine. They are designed to help students explore positive solutions to social justice and environmental challenges.

For each selected YES! article we've developed a set of questions for students that offers them the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehension and critical thinking skills. The Questions for Students worksheets can be modified to fit a variety of grade levels, learning styles, and teaching approaches.

Download a PDF version of the YES! lesson plan guidelines (67 KB)


YES! for Youth Curricula: 

YES! article, Questions for Students, and Glossaries


Students will:

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the author's major thesis and arguments
  • define and describe new vocabulary terms
  • comprehend the central concepts and/or issues raised in the article
  • make a connection between the concepts in the article and their own lives
  • express their own views (in writing and/or in discussion)


Time required (Grades 6-12)

For 1-2 page articles, at least 20 minutes is needed for students to read and complete the supplemental worksheet in class. For 3-4 page articles, 50 minutes is needed. Additional time may be needed to facilitate discussions using the students' answers to the questions. This can be done in small groups and with the class as a whole.

If the Questions for Students assignment is given as homework, teachers may opt to have a 5 or 10-minute pre-reading discussion to prepare them for the assignment. A post-reading discussion of 10-15 minutes would give students an opportunity to share answers and reflections. Pre-reading could include defining terms and creating a context for the article's topic. Post-reading discussions could include asking what/how/why questions to ascertain specific parts of the story that resonated with students, to find out what they thought was missing from the story, and to share ideas about how to move beyond the story and incorporate any lessons learned or new ideas into their school or local community.



The article(s), Questions for Students worksheets, Glossaries, additional paper (optional)


Suggested Lesson Structure

  1. Have students read the article individually, or aloud as a class (with students taking turns).
  2. Advise students to underline words that are new to them as they read through the article. Working alone or in teams, ask students to use the glossary to look up and review the meaning of the vocabulary terms they underlined. The glossary could also be read aloud and used as a pre-reading preparation exercise for the class as a whole.
  3. Ask students to complete the Questions for Students worksheet. Students will answer a variety of comprehension and critical-thinking questions in writing. They may need additional paper, or to use the back of the worksheet for longer answers.
  4. Lead a discussion (or have students lead the discussion) about the article's main thesis, using the Questions for Students as a guide.
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