Aug 03 2020

Adapting Lessons for Virtual Learning

Positive Action Staff
The Positive Action program lends you to have the flexibility to teach the lessons face-to-face or online or a combination of both. With specific guidance and using some of Positive Action's Best Practices and Guide and a little bit of training, you will see how easy and effective Positive Action can be.

Step 1. Review the Guide to Succeeding with Positive Action.


  • By carefully reviewing the lesson plan in the manual and especially noting its goal
  • By assembling and reviewing all the lesson materials called for in the lesson plan
  • How you will teach the lesson plan using all the materials indicated
  • How you will adapt the lesson plan for the needs of your students
  • How you will model the content daily


  • The lesson to reach the goal by following the lesson plan methodology
  • To use all the lesson's materials
  • The length of the lesson to fit your timeframe
  • The adaptations for the times, the culture, and other needs. (See the Guide to Succeeding with Positive Action for specific guidance.)
  • The transition from the last lesson and to the next
  • To check for understanding throughout the lesson


  • The lesson as you have prepared it
  • Adapt lesson as you go to incorporate class interactions while still reaching the goal of the lesson
  • Model concepts you are teaching
  • Let students know you value the concepts personally
  • Let students know you care about them
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage and contribute
  • Emphasize confidentiality and respect
  • Stay positive


  • Verbally check for understanding though out the lesson
  • Write essential points on the board
  • Ask for student input to improve their learning of specific positive actions
  • Give opportunities to students to express what they've learned
  • Make posters, get into groups or pairs, etc.
  • Discuss positive actions students have used and how they made them feel about themselves

Now that you have the basics, we are going to look at some of the best practices that will help your Positive Action lessons be engaging, whether virtually or in the classroom.

Step 2. Review the Best Practices for Teaching Positive Action.

Best Practices for Teaching Positive Action (breaking the lesson into four parts)

Part 1: Direct Instruction

  • Read/tell the lesson story or set-up for the specific positive action to be taught.

Part 2: Formative Assessment

  • Engage students with the provided lesson discussion questions. Look for clarity and understanding.

Part 3: Activity

  • Have students do the activity sheet, journaling, play, game, etc. that accompanies the lesson and reinforces the specific positive action.

Part 4: Brainstorming (applying)

  • Discuss the positive action taught and challenge students to do it between lessons.

Step 3: Apply both the Succeeding Guide and Best Practices to your hybrid model classroom.

Positive Action lessons in a brick and mortar setting take 15-20 minutes to deliver. When teaching the lessons in a hybrid model, you can still teach the complete lesson in 15-20 minutes virtually, or if time or technology are factors, please utilize some of the suggestions below.

Part 1: Direct Instruction

  • Use your district-approved online platform to teach the lesson.
  • Create 5-minute videos to introduce and reinforce the lesson concept (positive action).
  • Use voice-recording to tell and share the lesson story that introduces the specific positive action of the lesson.
  • Show or post the Positive Action posters and visual aids to illustrate the story.
  • Embrace social media to demonstrate for students other examples of the concept that you're trying to teach.

Part 2: Formative Assessment

  • Assign students to write answers to questions in a short paragraph and submit.
  • Use the questions in the lessons to create short online quizzes.
  • Discuss with the students what they gleaned from the pre-recorded video clip (if used to deliver part of the lesson) or throughout the face-to-face lesson, check for understanding, and create engagement.
  • Use relevant questions to create classroom discussions to build value.

Part 3: Activity

  • Display the activity sheet virtually and complete together as a whole-class activity.
  • Assign students to complete the activity sheet on their own. Talk about it or have students post what they learned.
  • Play any games together and use questions as a whole-class discussion. Some online platforms, like Zoom, have breakout rooms where small groups of students can play games with virtual markers.
  • Designate students to read character parts from the play scripts (secondary curriculum). These could also be pre-recorded to post or share per classroom or if you have multiple classrooms that are the same grade level share it with other classes.
  • Use approved media tools to have students record projects or assignments to share.

Part 4: Brainstorming

  • Use the Celebration and Positive Behavior plans as tools to help students apply the concepts that have been learned and explore how doing the positive actions have made them feel about themselves.
  • Keep an open forum so students can engage and apply the skills to areas of their life where they may be struggling or need improvement.
  • Have students discuss ideas on how to continue to build engaging lessons where they feel connected.
  • Create a forum for students to share ideas and what positive actions they are applying and to discuss with each other various challenges.

Students need to feel connected; an essential part of teaching the Positive Action curriculum is building relationships and helping students feel connected. If at all possible, try to deliver the lesson live and as often as possible.

  • Not all the lessons contain all four parts for best practice.
    • Make sure to do most or all the lessons for fidelity to get the best results.
    • Share resources with other teachers/facilitators.

Create equity in the virtual classroom with Positive Action. Be mindful of your students and their home environment. Not all students have access to technology. Many students may not be able to use a webcam because of the living situation. Make all students feel welcome and safe.

Create classroom rules, for both virtual and traditional face-to-face classrooms. You can use some of the lessons in Unit 4 of your Positive Action curriculum to set up a Code of Conduct. (For virtual, have students mute microphones when not speaking. Use chat box features when working with larger classrooms.)

Look for nonverbal cues with students, such as not talking, no eye contact, and not participating/logging in. This is an opportunity to reach out individually to that student and open a dialogue.

Digital Tools

The digital lesson library via the Teach! app will be available in 2021. In the meantime, we will offer digital tools that you can use (posters, activity sheets, and other items). They will be provided one unit at a time upon request in a downloadable link, and the link will stay active for seven days for your teachers to be able to download. Please register her to request digital resources:

If you’re already a registered user, visit your account information and select support: