Lesson Plan Guide: Getting On The Right Track

By Matt Andrews


  • Students will identify time management strategies
  • Students will list the ways to find direction in life
  • Students will create a plan to deal with substance abuse or alcoholism


  • PS: B1.8 Know when peer pressure is influencing a decision
  • PS: C1.8 Learn about the emotional and physical dangers of substance use and abuse


Information, pamphlets, contacts, etc., of community resources that help teens with problems such as substance abuse, time management, and finding direction will be useful in some cases. All communities have these resources to address serious issues such as substance abuse, but students often struggle to find these resources on their own.

A little local research on the part of the instructor can go a long way to improving the lives of a few students. What are the names and locations of three people in the community that students could go to for help with time management, substance abuse, and finding direction in life?


Paper and pencils for writing


This lesson uses reading aloud to structure group discussion about time management, substance addiction, and finding a sense of direction in life. The message students should receive about tackling every problem is: You have to do something about it!


There is no formal assessment, but encourage students to write down the contact information of any community resources for dealing with substance abuse. Instruct them, “Write it down just in case a friend needs it in the future.”


1. Begin by reading the first 5 short paragraphs of “Getting on the Right Track” that ends with, “What is the catch? You have to do something about it!” Allow 10 minutes for students to share their own stories about failure, being overwhelmed, losing direction, not even being aware they need direction, and all sorts of other problems in life that they think need solving.

a. This discussion is to warm up the group to one another, and also to emphasize that in order to address any problem in life, everyone must do something about it. In a call-and-response fashion the instructor could ask, “When things don’t go as planned, what do you do?” or “When times look bleak, what do you do?” where the students respond in unison “I do something about it!” This is an important motto for students to repeat throughout the lesson, and the general attitude should be reinforced.

2. Next, read aloud the section titled, “Improve time management,” and then work as a whole group to generate a list of strategies to manage one’s time. Note that most students are juggling different schedules, and identify general strategies to deal with things such as homework, extra-curricular activities, family obligations, and working for pay.

a. This discussion should address time management problems experienced by students in the group as a whole. The students should develop an understanding of a few key time management strategies.

3. Finally, read aloud the section titled, “Sense of direction,” and generate another list of ways one might go about finding direction in life. This is a similar discussion as the previous one, where the group brainstorms a practical list of solutions to a problem in life, but this is more open-ended to encourage reflection on all the possible ways a person could find direction in life.

a. The emphasis should be that every student must do something about it, and generating a long list of all the possible ways of finding direction in life is only the first step.


Getting on the Right Track

About the Author

Matt Andrews