Leadership is an important skill to develop in high school students. Educators can facilitate this skill by creating lesson plans that incorporate the study of characters who are leaders or act heroically or by having students work in groups where their roles require them to be leaders at times. Lesson plans that require students to teach their peers also help develop leadership skills and public speaking confidence, which is an important aspect of leadership.

Step 1

Reading assignments can help students discover how to be leaders

Choose reading assignments that portray regular people acting heroically or stepping up and being leaders when needed. Stories with strong characters that lead by example can influence students to recognize that anyone can be a leader. In "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," for example, the main character, McMurphy, is an unlikely leader yet stands up for his peers when they are treated unfairly.

Step 2

Students can be leaders through small group lesson plans

Create lessons that require students to get into small groups and play roles. For example, after a reading assignment, you could assign one person to be the discussion director, in charge of leading the discussion, asking questions, taking notes and keeping the others on task, so that they can finish the assignment that corresponds to the text they just read.

Step 3

Students teaching their peers creates valuable leadership opportunities

Assign lessons that require each student to teach the whole class, a partner or a small group. You could assign teaching a chapter of a book, a poem or a topic that the class has researched. Require that students teach the lesson and then assess their peers. Although this assignment could be a bit nerve-racking, students will gain valuable public speaking and presentation skills while learning how to step up to a challenge, which are all important skills for a leader to possess.

Step 4

George Washington was one great leader students coud research

Require students to complete a research paper about a real-life leader, such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr. or George Washington. Educators should ask the students to include biographical information about the leader's childhood and teenage years to illustrate that great leaders were once adolescents just like them. Creating a timeline of a leader's life would be an alternative assignment that could stir similar inspiration.