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Middle School Problem-Scale Guide: Free Download

Middle school is a crucial time for developing problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence. As educators, it’s our job to equip students with tools to navigate challenges effectively. The Problem Scale, provided by Everyday Speech, is an excellent resource for this purpose. In this blog, we will delve into a lesson plan centered around the “Middle School Problem-Scale Guide: Free Download,” aimed at helping students assess and categorize problems of varying magnitudes – supporting the further development of problem-solving skills and healthy coping mechanisms!

Understanding the Problem Scale

What is the Problem Scale?

The Problem Scale is a visual tool that categorizes problems into five levels:

  • Green: Very Small Problem
  • Light Green: Small Problem
  • Yellow: Medium Problem
  • Orange: Big Problem
  • Red: Very Big Problem

This scale helps students visually understand the size of a problem and respond appropriately.

Lesson Plan Overview

Objective: To teach middle school students how to use the Problem Scale to assess and categorize problems.

Materials Needed:Middle School Problem-Scale Guide: Free Download,” markers, and sticky notes.

Duration: 30-40 minutes.

The Lesson Plan

Introduction to the Problem Scale (5 minutes)

  • Start by explaining the concept of the Problem Scale.
  • Discuss each color and what size of problem it represents.

Activity: Identifying Problem Sizes (15 minutes)

  • Hand out copies of the “Middle School Problem-Scale Guide.”
  • Present various scenarios and ask students to classify each problem using the scale.
  • Encourage discussion about why they chose each category.

Role-Playing and Practical Application (15 minutes)

  • Engage students in role-playing exercises to practice using the scale in real-life situations.
  • Discuss the importance of matching their reaction to the size of the problem.

Group Discussion and Reflection (5 minutes)

  • Conclude with a discussion on how the Problem Scale can help in daily life.
  • Encourage students to share their insights and how they might use the scale moving forward.


The Problem Scale is a valuable tool for middle school students, especially in special education settings. It aids in developing critical thinking, emotional regulation, and appropriate problem-solving strategies. We hope this lesson plan, along with the “Middle School Problem-Scale Guide: Free Download,” becomes an integral part of your teaching resources. By empowering students to assess and categorize problems effectively, we are setting them up for success both in school and in life.

Sample Video

Students learn best from watching real students their own age model skills. Try out this sample video-modeling lesson below. We offer our entire Social-Emotional Learning platform free for 30 days here!

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