Leadership Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Leadership is an important skill for students to recognize and develop. This lesson plan outlines four key concepts related to formal leadership, then has students watch a video about informal leadership. Finally, students demonstrate understanding in a short skit.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the key leadership concepts
  • compare and contrast formal and informal leadership


1 hour


Key Vocabulary

  • Formal leadership
  • Informal leadership
  • Referent power
  • Expert power
  • Reward power

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.10

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.


  • For homework the before the lesson, ask students to watch and outline Formal Leadership: Definition & Explanation.
  • Begin class by reviewing the content of the lesson. Discuss:
    • What is formal leadership?
    • What is formal leadership based on?
    • Why do we need formal leadership?
    • Give an example of a formal leadership you know of.
  • Review the four key concepts of formal leadership and discuss real-life scenarios in which these occur and have students share experiences.
  • Now tell students they will be learning about informal leadership. Ask them to prepare their notebooks to take notes, then start the video lesson Informal Leadership: Definition & Explanation.
  • Pause the lesson at 1:31 and discuss:
    • What is informal leadership?
    • How is informal leadership similar to formal leadership? How is it different?
    • Explain the bases of power an informal leader uses.
    • Why can't informal leaders use legitimate power? Is this always true? Explain.
  • Ask students to brainstorm examples of informal leaders, then resume the video.
  • Ask students to share experiences of informal leaders in their lives. Discuss how these people impact theme compared to formal leaders.

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