Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School
  • Lesson Plan
  • counselors
  • photography
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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    Order vs. Chaos

    Order vs. Chaos


    This lesson teaches and tests students on Chaos, Order, and how those forces requir balance in our lives.


    In this lesson, students will learn to see the world from the lense of Order and Chaos.  They should be able to distinguish what Order is, or looks like, and what Chaos is, or looks like.

    • Time frame: 45 min. + a home, or following day assignment
    • Face to Face


    Background for Teachers

    To teach this lesson you will need a basic understanding of Order and Chaos.  This video is a good place to start.  Then you'll want to spend some time thinking about the part order and chaos play in your life and what you feel is the point at which they are optimally balanced.


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


    After this lesson students will be able to understand the concepts of Order and Chaos and the part those forces play in their lives.  

    To show this, they will create an image where they will use a picture they've taken that shows Order and another that shows Chaos.  The pictures will need to be presented in an artistic way, and labled to show they know which is which.

    The Lesson aligns with the School Counseling Student Mindsets and Competences "Life and Career Development" Competency C and "Social and Emotional Development" Competency B.

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction


    Students will have already learned about the concept of competence hierarchies and will understand the need to choose ones they actually care about.  This is an extention of that concept in that they will need to creat a plan of action to gain competence and get to a higher position in a chosen hierarchy.  Understanding the need to balance Chaos and Order will help them stick to a change by finding what is optimal for them.

    Step 3 - Instruction


    Day 1: Chaos and Order


    Before Class, share your padlet through a Canvas Announcement.


    (5 min) Journal Entry: What do you think of when you think of chaos?  What do you think of when you think of order?  Can things be too Chaotic?  Can they be too Orderly? Can you think of a time in your life when things were too chaotic, or ordered?  What was that time like?  What made that better?  If you feel like things are too chaotic or orderly in your life right now, what do you think would fix that?


    (3 min.) Watch this clip: Explain that this unit is about chaos and order.  Talk about Batman and The Joker and how you can predict what Batman does, while The Joker is unpredictable.  Batman is order, while The Joker is Chaos


    (15 Min.) Use padlet to have students answer what they think of when they think of Order, then about Chaos and talk about each one.  You can go to, create the padlet, and share it using a canvas announcement.  It is a great way to have them share examples of chaos and order without worrying about if they are right or wrong.  You then go through the examples with the class to explain why they are good, or poor examples of chaos and order.



    The  known, explored territory, waiting in line, rows of desks, calendars and  dates, alarms, plans, safety, security, when the world matches our expectations, politeness, not using the urinal right next to someone, control (both comforting and terrible), Batman



    The unknown, unexplored territory,  the stranger,  the foreigner, creation, something  new,  betrayal, the monster under our beds, the first day of school, freedom (both wonderful and terrible), someone using the urinal right next to you, The Joker


    Chaos and order interact with each other.  Ask them what happens when mom and dad set a 9:00 curfew while your friends all have 11:00 curfews.  What happens when you live in another country where you can light off fireworks for every birthday and then move to Utah?


    It also isn’t good to have too much, or too little of each one.  What happens if your mom decides that the best way to bring order to your family’s chaotic world is to make a dinner plan? Sounds good, right?  But what if that dinner plan is the same meal every night?  She’ll get really fast at making it.  She’ll be able to save money by buying ingredients in bulk.  What’s  wrong with it?


    What about if she decides there is no plan.  She wants some chaos.  Order is exhausting to maintain.  So, when she goes to the store, she just pulls things off the shelves willy nilly and when she goes to make dinner she doesn’t bother with recipes, or instructions, or measuring, or even thinking about what goes good together.  How would that be?


    So, we need some balance in our lives.


    Oftentimes, we have control over some of the chaos and order in our lives.


    So, how do we create a balance in our lives?


    We might: Make a schedule, dive headfirst into the world of drugs, decide that homework is for the birds, decide to get involved with three sports and a dance class all at the same time, quit one of those because it’s just too much, talk with our parents about a later curfew, or our friends about just going home a little earlier, we have no ambitions at all, we just go home and watch tv all day, 


    Talk to the class about how we can feel the tension in our lives and make conscious decisions to change what we do.  Take the tv watching example.  First have consciousness put chaos and order into their places (noticing that order from parents, or school, or society will be pulling against this, because we expect more than tv watching from people), then have the class come up with possible solutions to that problem and have consciousness move chaos and order around based on the options, trying to help us relieve some of that tension.


    (5 min) Remind them that it is the lack of imbalance that makes chaos, or order a problem.  Our society is set up really well, so we don’t often think about chaos, or order, because the balance is generally pretty built in.  But  when we  think about our individual lives, we often find that there is a small imbalance that can be seen as the root of our problem.


    (3 min) ask everyone to write down a problem that they have, or one that they know people have in their journals.  It can be as big, or as small, as silly, or as serious as they’d like.


    (3 min) have groups discuss  some of the problems and diagnose if it is a problem that comes from too much chaos, or order.


    (10 min, if there is time) Share this video as a good example of chaos and order.


    Step 4 - Assessments

    Students will be asked to use iPads, or some other device, to take one picture that would represent Chaos and one that would represent Order.  Then use a tool to make those pictures into one image.  I like, but if you like another you can use it.  You may want them to take the pictures at home, or at school.  For students who don't have devices at home you may want to have them find images on the internet, but will need to also teach them about copyright and where to find images they are allowed to use.

    They should have the picture cut into two different areas, one should be labled chaos and the other order and the correct picture put on each side.  These should clearly show that they can see chaos  and order and the difference between the two.