Positive Guidance & Interactions with Children

Lesson Topic:  Positive Guidance & Interactions with Children

Lesson Description:

  • This lesson teaches students specific skills to practice & establish positive interactions and positive guidance techniques when working with children.

Learning Goals/Outcomes:

  • Students will demonstrate effective positive guidance & interactions with children.

Nebraska Standards:

  • HSE.HS.2.8 Demonstrate techniques for positive, collaborative relationships with children.

Teacher Planning:

Equipment/Materials Needed:

  • Teacher access to computer/projector, flipgrid account set up.
  • Student access to a computer/internet

Time Required for Lesson:

  • 2-50 minute class periods

Lab Set-up:

  • For assessment portion, you will need your students to have access to work with children.  This could be partnering with your community early childhood centers, your current school's preschool-kindergarten classes, or inviting children ages

Benefits/Explanation/Career Readiness Standards:

  • Supports courses within the Nebraska FACS Early Childhood and Education pathway, courses 090119, 090121, 090122.
  • Supports skills needed within early childhood work-based learning and practicum experiences.  
  • Supports NE Career Ready Standards:  Communicates effectively and appropriately, models ethical leadership and effective behavior, and contributes to employer and community success.

Technology Use:

  • YES

Instructional Plan:

Anticipatory Set/Pre-Activity:

  • Start off the class with posing the question, "How do early childhood experiences shape a community?"  Then ask students, "How have YOU impacted early childhood experiences in our community?"  (guide discussion to where students are talking about interactions/working with children, even asking students if they have ever ignored an interaction with a child/sibling/friend because they were on their phone, watching tv, etc.)
  • As a class, view the Still Face Experiment Video (3 minutes in length).  As students are viewing this video, have them write down an entry for I saw, I think, I wonder.  Have students discuss their 3 entries from viewing the video.  Discuss together as a class key takeaways, thoughts, paradigm shifts, etc.
  • Pose the driving question to the class once more, "How do early childhood experiences shape a community?"
  • Transition to next activity:  Today we will be learning skills that will help you have a positive impact on children through positive reinforcement and establishing positive interactions.

Still Face Experiment: Dr. Edward Tronick

Activities (i.e. instructions, lesson, lab or project):

  • Establishing Rules:  Discuss with the class the importance of rules when working with younger children.  What positive and negative impacts can rules have on a classroom?  home?  Then, have students take notes, or create a poster over the following key concepts to remember when establishing rules in working with children:  1.   Need rules, too many overwhelming.  2.  Stated positive terms (what TO do).  3.  Clear purpose.  4.  Age appropriate . When going over 1-4, provide examples and non examples for the students.  Then have students work in pairs to do a quick internet search of a good example of classroom rules for early childhood and a weak example.  They will share these with the class and explain.  This activity will demonstrate their understand of each concept 1-4 within this activity.  
  • Transition:  After rules are established in a classroom, they are only effective if the teacher/adult positively reinforces the rules and the relationships with the children.  To do this, it takes specific skills to uphold a positive environment with children.  
  • Positive Guidance:  Individually, students are to create an "Establishing Positive Guidance" vlog using flipgrid.    Within the teacher's flipgrid account, the teacher will create a flipgrid prompt:  "Establishing Positive Guidance."  Once it is created, the teacher will then share the code with the class.  Each individual will enter in that code and create their own vlog after the teacher goes through the following.  The teacher will hand students a copy (or email each link) of the following resources:  Planning for Positive Guidance, Benefits of Asking Young Children Open Ended Questions, & Teaching Your Children Independence.  Students are to read, highlight, and capture key information that is essential to establishing positive guidance when working with young children.  Through their notes, students should be creating an outline/key points to include in their vlog.  After students have read through each resource, they are then to create their flipgrid vlog.  Students will then listen to at least 5 other classmates flipgrid vlogs and comment on 3.  
  • Transition:  The last component to uphold a positive environment alongside positive reinforcement is being intentional about positive interactions with children.  
  • Serve & Return-Interacting with Children:  Take a survey by a show of hands with the class, "Who feels comfortable interacting with young children?"  Then ask students to share why and why not.  Transition into the concept that there is an art and science to interacting with children, but as we know from the Importance of Early Childhood Lesson, interactions with children builds the brain!  As a class view (6 minutes) 5 Steps for Brain Building-Serve & Return.  After viewing the video give (or email) the Serve & Return handout to students. Have students practice these 5 steps in pairs.  Have one student start to draw a picture in their notebook, and then the other student begins the 5 step process.  Have students evaluate each other/give feedback.  Continue this process in pairs until you feel students are getting the hang of it. 

5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return

Assessment & Closure:

  • Formative:  In activities above-Establishing Rules Good and Bad Example, Positive Reinforcement Notes & Flip Grid Vlog, and Serve & Return Pairs Practice/Demonstration
  • Summative:  Students will complete the following Knowledge Into Practice observation and interaction log.  Go through each section BEFORE sending students to childcare centers/having children come to your classroom.  It is important your students have the chance to work with children, but also observe adults in the profession working with children.  As stated in the Lab Set Up section of this lesson, you can use early childhood centers, Pre-K classrooms, etc.  

Supplemental Information:


  • Provide a list of websites or create a sheet of examples/non examples for Establishing Rules Activity.  
  • Add in specific questions to Flipgrid Vlog assignment.
  • Add in prompts to formative assessment for observations.

Safety Precautions:

  • Background checks/paperwork taken care of for students to work with children (from business side and your school district's side).
Return to top