Identify potential solutions for common tricky situations; define bystander effect and explain how to avoid it.


NHES 2: Ask for and offer assistance to enhance the health of self and others.


CASEL:Relationship skills






Lesson Plan: A User’s Guide to Tricky Situations 

Want to learn how to navigate even the thorniest dilemmas? Read on! 

1. Preparing to Read

Before you read the article “A User’s Guide to Tricky Situations,” ask your students the following pre-reading question:

What is a common tricky social situation teens might experience, and what is the best way to handle it?

2. Reading and Discussing

  • Have your students read the article “A User’s Guide to Tricky Situations” independently; read the article out loud to them; or have students partner-read the article out loud.
  • After they’ve read the article, revisit the pre-reading question. Have their answers changed? 
  • Next, have your students answer the Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking questions, either working in small groups or independently. 

Close-Reading Questions
The following questions can be shared in printable or interactive form from the Resources tab. 

  1. Is it always sensible to speak up in a tricky situation, according to the article? Explain your answer.
  2. According to the article, there is one clear solution for a specific type of tricky situation. What is the situation, and what type of action should you take?

Critical-Thinking Questions

  1. Does social media complicate tricky situations or make them easier to deal with, in your opinion? Explain your thinking.

  2. Which type of tricky situation do you deal with most frequently? Why do you think this situation is so common?

3. Building Comprehension and Vocab

Check students’ comprehension of and engagement with the story with the following assessment tools:

  • Quiz

  • Vocab Builder

4. Expanding SEL Opportunities

Continue the learning journey with the following extension activity:

In this SOCIAL DILEMMA INTERVIEW, have students speak to an older sibling, family member, or another adult whom they trust to give good advice on handling tricky situations. They should take notes during the interview and then share what they learned about navigating tricky situations with the class!

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