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Mental Illness 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.

Mental illness is a prevalent, yet largely neglected topic in modern culture. This lesson uses both a text and video lesson to present key information while an activity ensures comprehension. Related lessons and extensions create viable options for further instruction.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define 'mental illness'
  • identify different types of mental illness
  • outline potential causes for mental illness

Length

1 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.4

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 11-12 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.5

Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Key Vocabulary

  • Mental illness
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Physiological psychology

Materials

  • Assorted case studies of individuals who are exhibiting abnormal behaviors. These should include the symptoms and behaviors discussed throughout the lesson.

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