Child Development Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
How did your students develop into the people they are today? Answer these and other questions with this lesson plan that examines child development. Follow up with an engaging activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define and use key child development terms
  • identify child development theorists
  • explain stages of child development
  • apply understanding of child development stages to their own lives


  • 1 - 1.5 hours


  • Students will need to bring documents and/or photos from home detailing their development
  • Poster board or large paper
  • Markers

Key Vocabulary

  • Child development
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Erik Erikson
  • Lev Vygotsky
  • Infancy
  • Early childhood
  • Middle childhood
  • Adolescence

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

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 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.10

By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


  • Introduce and connect students to the topic by having them write about what stage they believe themselves to be in when speaking in terms of childhood development. Share and discuss answers.
  • Tell students that developmental psychologists have determined stages of childhood. Brainstorm what these stages might be.
  • Now start the video lesson What Is Child Development? - Definition, Theories & Stages. Instruct students to take notes during the lesson.
  • Pause the video at 0:35. Define key terms, then check for understanding by asking:
    • Why did developmental psychologists create childhood development stages?
    • What time period does child development span? Why?
  • Have students title their notebooks 'Child Developmental Theorists' and list numbers 1-3. Resume the video.
  • Pause at 1:33 and ask:
    • Which theorist developed an understanding of childhood development based on psychosexual aspects?
    • Which theorist has the most comprehensive theory?
    • Which theorists focused on social relationships?
    • Which theorist views children in an apprentice role with parents?
  • Now have students label their notebooks 'Stages of Child Development' and list numbers 1-4. Resume the lesson.
  • Pause after each section, allowing students to catch up with notes and discussing key characteristics of each.
  • Play the Lesson Summary and answer questions; check for student understanding.

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