Anxiety Disorders Lesson Plan

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

Anxiety is one the most common mental disorders in young adults. This lesson plan uses a video lesson in addition to one-on-one, small-group, and whole-class discussions to explore several anxiety disorders, including GAD, specific phobias, and OCD.

Lesson Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the defining characteristics of an anxiety disorder
  • name and describe several types of anxiety disorders
  • compare and contrast Generalized Anxiety Disorder and specific phobias


  • 1 hour

Curriculum Standards:


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Key Terms:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Specific phobias
  • Social anxiety
  • Specific social phobia
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)


  • Begin the video Anxiety Disorders, pausing at 3:00.
  • Ask the students to turn to a partner and discuss what they learned about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and specific phobias. Invite students to share their responses with the rest of the class.
  • Continue with the video, this time pausing at 5:16.
  • Again, have students turn to a partner and discuss what they learned about social anxiety, specific social phobias, and classical conditioning. Encourage students to share their thoughts with the whole class.
  • Return to the video and watch it to the end.
  • This time have partners, and then the whole class, discuss obsessive compulsive disorders.
  • To check for understanding, project the lesson quiz.

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