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Youth Communication equips and empowers educators and youth workers with real teen-written stories and a literacy-rich training model to engage struggling youth and build their social and emotional learning skills. [more]
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Lessons & Leader Guides
Lessons & Teacher Guides—
Helpful Guidance for Using the Stories
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Lessons and Leader Guides

Lessons make it easier to generate discussion, writing, and reflection based on the stories. There are nearly 1,000 lessons associated with the stories on this website. Some consist of just a few core questions that teachers can use to spark a discussion, or as writing prompts. Others are more elaborate. They include academic lessons to help teens improve reading and writing skills, and interactive lessons to help teens strengthen social and emotional skills. Our news literacy page includes stories and lessons that you can use to teach teens about journalism and how to evaluate information.

To find lessons on a particular theme, click here to search our index of story topics. Stories that have accompanying lessons appear with an icon that says "Teacher Lesson Available."

Leader Guides are 100- to 300-page guides that include lessons for the 30 to 35 stories in particular anthologies. The lessons focus on social and emotional skills. Content area teachers, in health, or language arts, for example, can adapt some of the lessons for your classes. For example, discussion prompts can also be used as writing prompts. The resilience program and the work readiness program (below) also include student worksheets.

Here are the programs that we currently publish with complete leader guides:

Note: You can learn more about Real Jobs, Real Men, and Real Stories—and see sample lessons—at

  • Writing and Identity: Starting With 'I' has a free leader's guide
  • Foster Care Transition: Do You Have What It Takes combines stories and self-help activities about making the transition to adult life in a single book.
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