Size of the Problem Lesson and Activities LOW-NO PREP

Resource Type
Zip (134 MB|37 pages)
Digital Download
Digital Download
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This resource teaches students about problem sizes and how to appropriate self-refer for counseling. We use a weather analogy and talk about the size of problems in these categories:

Wind (No biggy, tiny problems!)

Rain (Small problems students can solve themselves!)

Thunderstorm (Medium problems kids need adult help for)

Tornado (Big, serious problems that need an adult’s help quickly)

This resource includes:

24 Problem Example Cards

31 slide animated PPT with 11 example problems

Weather Problem Poster

Weather Problem Sorting Sheet

Written lesson plan with ASCA mindsets & behaviors and CASEL competencies.

Exit Ticket

Weather themed self-refer slips

ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills to make informed decisions
  • Demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem

CASEL (Social Emotional Learning) Competencies

  • Responsible Decision-Making
  • Self-Management

Resource Rationale

Without being taught directly about problems having different sizes and severity levels, many students will equate all of their problems as being equally gigantic. This lesson serves two functions: 1) it teaches students how to differentiate between small and large problems which is the first step to coping with problems and 2) it provides an easy conceptual language for students to understand how to self-refer for larger problems.

How to Use This Resource

This is often one of the first lessons I do at the start of the year. It sets us up for future conversations about problem solving, conflict resolution, and coping skills. It's also easy to implement with small groups focusing on those topics as well.

Open up the preview for more details!

*Works on both PCs and MACs. Is not compatible with Google Slides.*


Looking for other lessons to help your students become problem solvers? Check out these!

Problem Solving Lesson with “But It’s Not My Fault!”

Problems Inside vs. Outside of Your Control Lesson Plan


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Total Pages
37 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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