TOPSS — Unit Lesson Plans
TOPSS is pleased to produce unit lesson plans for high school psychology teachers. These lesson plans are three- to seven-day units that include a procedural timeline, a content outline, suggested resources and activities and references.
“Childhood Obesity” and “Memory” are open to the public as sample unit plans. Otherwise, these lessons are available to TOPSS members only. Teachers can access all unit lesson plans by joining TOPSS.
Looking for an activity you need tomorrow?
TOPSS has made available a selection of activities from two of our unit lesson plans for teachers to access. Also posted are two-day lesson plans from past award winning teachers.
Problem-Based Unit Plans
A problem-focused unit is one that takes a common problem facing society and uses it as a way to teach psychological content.
Childhood Obesity (PDF, 260KB)
Unit Lesson Plans
Biological Bases of Behavior (PDF, 333KB)
Consciousness (PDF, 348KB)
Emotion (PDF, 442KB)
Learning (PDF, 320KB)
Life Span Development (PDF, 404KB)
Memory (PDF, 712KB)
Motivation (PDF, 171KB)
Personality (PDF, 395KB)
Perspectives in Psychological Science (PDF, 306KB)
Psychological Disorders (PDF, 305KB)
Research Methods and Statistics (PDF, 624KB)
Sensation and Perception (PDF, 252KB)
Social Psychology (PDF, 429KB)
Treatment of Psychological Disorders (PDF, 108KB)
The unit lesson plans above cover main content areas within the introductory psychology course. These lesson plans cover topics that may accompany the main content areas of a course. “Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Psychology” and “Psychology of Sexual Orientation” were both created in a modular format, to be used throughout the course.
Positive Psychology (PDF, 164KB)
Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Psychology (PDF, 284KB)
Psychology of Sexual Orientation (PDF, 212KB)
For TOPSS Members
Accessing the Lesson Plans
This section is for TOPSS members only. Before viewing the unit lesson plans, you will be prompted to log in using your MyAPA username (often your member number) or email address and password.
If you forget your user ID or password, you can use the account information form to retrieve your forgotten log-in information.
If you still have difficulty accessing the TOPSS lesson plans, please send an email to Customer Service with the subject line “TOPSS Lesson Plans access.” Be sure to include your APA member number and your chosen email address in the communication.
If you have any questions, please contact Emily Leary Chesnes or call (202) 572-3013.
The APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools is working to update and revise all TOPSS unit lesson plans on an on-going basis to ensure that all content is up-to-date. We invite all TOPSS members and other interested individuals to submit feedback and suggestions on all TOPSS units. Feedback can be emailed or mailed to:
Office of Precollege and Undergraduate Education
APA Education Directorate
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Please specify which unit you are referring to when you submit feedback.
Webcasts and Modules
- Recorded webcasts and online modules are available for psychology teachers on a variety of topics.
“Psych Learning Curve”
Check out the latest news from psychology and education.
TOPSS offers a collection of APA resources for teachers of introductory psychology, including curriculum and classroom tools.