What IsOvercoming Obstacles?

Overcoming Obstacles is a free, award-winning, and research-based K-12 curriculum that provides you with the tools to teach your students life skills. With hundreds of activity-based lessons covering more than 30 critical social and emotional skills, students learn how to communicate effectively. They learn how to make informed decisions. They learn how to set and achieve goals, resolve conflicts, solve problems, respect one another, and more.

Since 1992, over 290,000 educators in all 50 states and in 170 countries have used Overcoming Obstacles’ free lessons to improve the lives of more than 65 million young people.

Kindergarten through Second Grade

Lessons on fairness, listening, coping skills, self-control, respect, integrity, and more!



Lessons on empathy, integrity, perseverance, respect, and more!


Middle School

Modules on skills such as communicating effectively, making decisions, setting goals, studying effectively, resolving conflicts, and more!


High School

In addition to goal setting, communicating effectively, and making decisions, the high school curriculum includes modules on college readiness, on-the-job skills, developing a positive work ethic, and managing your life.


Click on a level above to download the complete curriculum for free as a PDF.No registration required.

Lesson Breakdown

We all know that students need to learn life skills, but actually teaching these skills can be a challenge. Overcoming Obstacles’ helps you take abstract concepts and break them down into concrete, easy-to-teach lessons. And together, this is how we do it:

Setting Expectations

Each lesson begins with an agenda, objectives, and a list of required materials. The goals are clearly stated in the objectives which helps you establish what the expectations are for the lesson and what your students can hope to learn.

Introducing the Skill

The starter of each lesson provides you with a quick definition that is usually designed around a brief activity or anecdote to focus your students’ attention on the skill being introduced.

Explaining the Skill

As you facilitate an activity or discussion, your students draw from prior experience to demonstrate the concept or skill they are learning.

Practicing the Skill

As they participate in an interactive activity, your students apply what you have taught them.

Reflect on the Skill

Lastly, students reflect on the skill they just learned and see how it’s relevant to their life and how they will use it every day.

Lessons also feature extensions, giving you additional opportunities to further develop each skill. Your students will analyze quotations, conduct research, develop technology skills, write journal entries, and work on additional projects.

“My Overcoming Obstacles” is a completely free online platform where you can download training guides, standards alignments, student surveys, handbooks for parents, and material for substance abuse prevention and bullying prevention. It will also give you access to our upcoming lesson editing platform and customized versions of the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum - all for free!

Creating your account is fast and easy: just fill out the form at the link below and you'll get instant access!


Registering for a free account gives you access to all of these features, materials, and more!

Without an Account

With an Account

  • Download the complete Elementary, Middle, and High School level curriculum.
  • Download the complete Elementary, Middle, and High School level curriculum.
  • See how Overcoming Obstacles aligns to state and national standards
  • Arrange lessons in groups of favorites
  • Download supplemental material and handbooks, including our Parent-Child Snapshots, Peer Mentoring Handbook, training guides, and more

And this is just the beginning! More content, features, and updates will be released in the weeks, months, and years ahead.

All for free!