Regret 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.

Is it possible to live a life without regret? Use this lesson plan to help your students explore the concept of regret. Find, too, an activity that helps students address their regrets and empowers them to strive to live without regret.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define 'regret'
  • list examples of regretful actions
  • discuss techniques for preventing feeling of regret


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.


Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.


  • A formal definition for the term 'regret'
  • Paper in assorted colors


  • Begin by asking students to take a few moments to write a simple definition for the term 'regret.'
  • When all students have crafted a definition for the term 'regret,' go around the room asking each student to share what he or she wrote.
    • What do our definitions have in common?
    • How are they different?
  • Write the the formal definition of 'regret' on the board for the class to see.
    • How does this definition differ from those we came up with?
    • Now that we have a solid sense of what regret is, by a show of hands, how many of you have experienced feelings of regret in your own life?
    • What types of actions can lead to feelings of regret?
    • What causes one to feel regretful?
    • How can regretful actions be prevented?
    • Is it possible to live a life without regret? If so, how? If not, why?

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