Human Development Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

This lesson plan helps students to define human development and examine several theories using a video lesson. An activity allows students to apply the theories to their own development.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define human development
  • summarize several theories of development
  • apply developmental theories to personal development


1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Key Vocabulary

  • Human development
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Learning theory
  • Cognitive theory
  • Systems theory


  • Introduce the topic and play the video lesson Human Growth and Development Theories, pausing at 0:30.
  • Now ask the students to answer the question posed in the video lesson concerning why Timmy is behaving the way he is. Write their ideas on the board as they provide them.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it this time at 1:09. How did the students' answers compare to what was stated in the video lesson? Did they relate it to development? Discuss this briefly as a class.
  • Now ask the students to take out a sheet of paper and something to write with.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now, asking the students to take notes on each type of developmental theory introduced.
  • After the lesson has played in its entirety, revisit the discussion of Timmy's behavior in terms of the different theoretical approaches, reviewing the lesson's points about how each specific theory would explain Timmy's behavior.

Discussion Questions

  • Is one of the developmental theories introduced more effective at explaining Timmy's behavior than another?
  • How do these theories apply to our own growth and development?

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