Behaviorism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to help your preservice teachers explore behaviorism and its possible uses in the classroom. Students will watch a video lesson, create a graphic organizer, and create a behavioral plan for a real-world scenario.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define behaviorism.
  • apply behavioral theories to real-world scenarios.


60-90 minutes


  • Pre-made cards with examples of unacceptable student behavior (One for each student; see 'Behavioral Solutions Activity' in the Instructions section of this lesson plan).


  • Begin the lesson by giving students an example of an acceptable student behavior. This can be anything; perhaps you can tell a story of a real student you have had in the past. Ask students what they might do in response to this behavior.
  • Show students the video lesson Behaviorism: Overview & Practical Teaching Examples. Pause the video at 0:56 and discuss the definition of behaviorism with your students.
  • Ask students to create the table below on a sheet of paper (or electronically). They will fill in the table as they watch the remainder of the video. This will provide them with a quick guide to behaviorism that they will use in the remainder of the lesson.

Behavioral Concept Definition Example(s)
  • Resume the video. You may pause it periodically to allow students to complete their chart. Also, you can discuss each of the terms as they come up in the video to further reinforce the concepts.
  • Ask for a volunteer to read each row in their completed table (one row per term). This will allow students to fill in any gaps they may have.

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