YA4-H! Teens as Teachers



This curriculum has been reviewed and reccomended for use by the National 4-H Curriculum Jury. The curriculum can be purchased from the National 4-H Curriculum Collection ($80)



Arnold, M. E., Gifford, L. N., Deen, M. K. Y., & Edwards, J. W. (Eds). (2015). YA4-H! Youth Advocates for Health – Teens as Teachers . Oregon State University Public Health Extension: Corvallis OR.

 The YA4-H!Teens as Teachers curriculum consists of a series of activities that are designed to be participant-led, fun, and engaging for youth and adults alike. Participants learn by doing, which is a hallmark of 4-H. Training in Youth-Adult Partnerships (Y-APs) is a necessary prerequisite to pursuing the Teens as Teachers training. Once your group has completed a minimum of four hours of Y-AP training from the YA4-H! Building Successful Youth-Adult Partnerships curriculum, you are ready to complete the Teens as Teachers training. This training aims to give teens ample opportunity to learn, practice, and reflect on teaching and facilitation skills, understand child development principles, and lead lessons with confidence and enthusiasm. Teens should participate in as many activities as possible and give feedback to other teens throughout the training. Teens should experience all lessons, either as participants or as co-teachers.

YA4-H Teens as Teacher Curriculum Contents

In order to prepare teens to be effective cross-age teachers, we have included concepts of culture and diversity, child development, learning styles, facilitation skills, classroom management, action planning, and more in the Teens as Teachers curriculum. This curriculum includes the following sections:

  • Culture: Do I Have One? The experiences we have in our lives and how we respond to these experiences make us unique. Our personal culture shapes our view the world and the people around us. This section helps us become more aware of our own worldview, understand stereotypes and generalizations, and appreciate the many dimensions of diversity teens may encounter as teachers.
  • Getting to Know Your Audience: To be an effective teacher, it is important to know your audience. This section provides information and tools for understanding the developmental stages of youth the teens will be teaching. These activities offer insight into learning styles, experiential learnings, and how to be an effective facilitator.
  • Teaching Tips and Tools: These activities introduce strategies for keeping kids focused and attentive, as well as communicating the main point of a lesson even when time is short. This section also emphasizes the point that becoming a good teacher requires lots of practice!
  • Preparing for Action: This section introduces teens to five critical facilitation skills: Invite and include, energize, encourage, engage and keep it moving, and wait three before me! These activities also explore the idea of professionalism and being a good role model. Finally, because being a teacher takes preparation and planning, teens learn the basics of action planning in this section.
  • Reflection and Evaluation: Before completing their Teens as Teachers training, teens should pause for reflection and discussion on what they have learned. How will new skills and lessons apply to real-life settings? In addition to group reflection activities, this section also includes written evaluation forms to gather feedback on training sessions and teen teaching experiences.
  • Recruitment Materials: In order to launch a successful Teens as Teachers program in your community, you first need to find enthusiastic teen participants. Recruitment takes time, effort, and creativity. This section offers sample tools such as a flyer, press release, letter to school personnel, job description, and application to help you get started.
  • Handouts: The final section of the curriculum includes handouts, lesson plans, and worksheets that correspond to specific activities. When preparing for a training session, take note of what handouts you will need and how many copies you will need. In some cases, you will need to make enough copies to give one to each participant.
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