Stranger Danger Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Personal safety is always something important for students to learn. This lesson plan will introduce your students to several ideas about self-defense, as well as let them practice synthesizing and presenting information for a specific audience.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the concepts of self-defense and personal safety
  • Describe several prevention and defense techniques, as well as appropriate times and uses of each
  • Synthesize information into a presentable format, considering the target audience


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.


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.


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.



  • Large paper for making posters, smaller paper for making brochures and basic craft supplies (scissors, markers, colored pencils, glue, tape)


  • Access to computers with presentation software (such as PowerPoint or Prezi) and word processing software that has a brochure template


  • Start class by discussing personal safety.
    • What does personal safety mean to you?
    • In your generation, what are some unique concerns you may have about personal safety? How can the internet, social media, and other technologies both represent an increased risk to personal safety as well as increased protection?
  • Distribute copies of the lesson Basic Self-Defense: Techniques & Tips.
  • Break students into small groups. After reading each section of this lesson, they will discuss the information in their groups.
  • Ask students to read the sections The Karate Kid and Priority Number One: Prevention. Have them discuss this information.
    • Why is prevention an important part of self-defense? Is prevention always enough?
    • How do you maintain a balance between being aware of your surroundings and not living your life in constant fear? Does prevention in self-defense mean always assuming the worst about every person you encounter? Why is it important to become aware of any biases or prejudices you may have (even subconsciously)?
  • Ask students to read the remaining sections and complete the lesson. Have them discuss the following questions.
    • Why is it best to give someone your wallet rather than fighting? Why is fighting generally seen as the last stage or last resort in self-defense?
    • If you are forced to defend yourself physically, what is the goal? Do you think you'd have a better chance at protecting yourself by attacking and quickly running away or attacking and staying in a prolonged fight?
    • Were any of these myths about self-defense surprising? Why?
  • You may test student understanding with the lesson quiz.

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