Schizophrenia 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.

Schizophrenia is a largely misunderstood mental illness. This lesson plan uses a video and a text lesson to explain key facts about this disorder and an activity creates a meaningful takeaway for students.

Learning Objectives

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

  • define schizophrenia
  • list the symptoms of schizophrenia
  • distinguish between different types of schizophrenia


  • 1 to 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.


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.


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.


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


Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.


Key Vocabulary

  • Schizophrenia
  • Positive symptoms
  • Negative symptoms
  • Paranoid
  • Disorganized
  • Catatonic
  • Undifferentiated
  • Residual


  • Begin by writing the word 'schizophrenia' on the board.
  • Ask the students to share what they know about schizophrenia and write some of their ideas on the board.
  • Play the video lesson Schizophrenia, pausing at 1:58.
  • Review the definition of schizophrenia for the class and list the positive symptoms presented in the video lesson.
    • Does 'positive' in regards to the symptoms of schizophrenia mean that they are good?
  • Play the rest of the video lesson for the class now.
  • Review the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and the different types of schizophrenia presented in the video lesson.
    • Do the symptoms and types of schizophrenia we've learned about match with your understanding about it prior to this lesson?

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