Be a Great Sitter! Mini-Unit

In the last few months I’ve had several requests for babysitting lessons! It wasn’t that I didn’t have the lessons to share previously…they just needed to be freshened up! So after updating my lessons, the “Be a Great Sitter! Mini-Unit” is finally ready to share. I have always taught this “Be a Great Sitter! Mini Unit” to junior high students, but I see no reason why it couldn’t be used in a senior high class as well.


  • Introduce the mini unit by sharing the following scenario with students:
    • The Wink family wants to hire Sam to take care of their 3 children over summer break.  The Wink children include Tilly Wink, age 7, Tinky Wink, age 5, and Tiddly Wink, age 3. Sam really wants this job, but is concerned about all the responsibilities involved. Sam wants to be a great sitter. Sam needs our help!  What characteristics does a great sitter possess?  What roles and/or responsibilities should a great sitter know about or be able to perform?
  • Ask students to…
    • Individually create a t-chart with characteristics on one side and roles/responsibilities on the other.  Brainstorm a list for each side in the given time (3-5 minutes).
    • When time is up, turn to your neighbor and share lists.  As you share, record any answers shared that were not on your original list.
    • Share and discuss examples, creating a master list on the board.  Again, ask students to record any answers that were not on their original list.
  • While all of the characteristics, roles and responsibilities are important, let’s focus on the key roles and responsibilities of a great sitter. They are–
    • Be a Responsible Role Model
    • Know the BASICS About Children & Child Care
    • Be Safety Conscious
    • Engage & Entertain Children
  • View the YouTube clip “How to be a Great Babysitter” and ask students if this person was a great sitter and be prepared to justify why or why not.
  • From here, I teach more about each of four key roles and responsibilities.


  • Laptop or iPad
  • Projector & Screen
  • Crayons, markers or colored pencils


#1:  Be a Responsible Role Model 

  • Discuss: What is a role model? What does the word responsible mean? What does responsible behavior mean? Examples?
  • Some answers may include:
    • Mature in attitude, decisions, activities, acts professional (adult-like)
    • Performs positive behaviors so the child doesn’t imitate or pick up bad habits (no smoking, swearing, etc.)
    • Demonstrates good communication skills–speaking, listening, conveying thoughts or messages
    • Uses their manners–please/thank you
  • Demonstrate why listening is crucial when a person is giving directions by telling students the Jamie’s story (see attachments). Direct them to listen carefully!
  • Immediately after the story, pass out the worksheet titled “Listening” and tell students you want to see how well they listened. Help the sitter out by giving him/her the 5 steps s/he was supposed to do if one of the children ate sugar. Direct students to complete the worksheet in a given time frame (3-5 minutes). Collect the papers.
  • Discuss the correct sequencing as well as the final prompt on why listening to instructions is so important to being a responsible role model.
  • Ask and discuss the following prompt: Why is it important to discuss or settle upon payment prior to the job? Answers may include: you actually get paid, you get paid a reasonable/fair wage, you don’t get taken advantage of and you don’t overcharge, risking never being asked back.
  • Have students complete the “Babysitting Dollars” worksheet, calculating amounts. This can be done as a full worksheet assignment or broken out as daily bell ringers.

#2:  Know the Basics about Children & Child Care

  • Introduce this characteristic by having students participate in a Child Care Continuum–Magnetic Sort (see attachments). Set up a board or wall in your classroom with Agree & Disagree Cards. I have a magnet board so I add small magnetic tape to my cards, but tape works too if you have a regular wall/board.
  • Pass out large magnetic cards to each student. Have students read the statement on their card and decide if they agree or disagree with it and why. Students should be able to explain their reason for placement and teacher/class can further discuss and share examples if necessary.
  • Students usually do a great job justifying their answers. Depending on how much time remains, I show students the following videos. Sometimes I only get one in, other times I get more. Use accordingly based on your class time.

#3:  Be Safety Conscious

#4:  Engaging & Entertaining Children

  • Revisit the into scenario…Sam has been researching ways to engage and entertain children as a sitter.  One thing that keeps popping up is this thing called a “bag of tricks”.  Ask what students think this is referring to?
  • A babysitter’s bag of tricks is referring to a bag of activities that are engaging, safe, age- appropriate for the child/children you are caring for. It can include books, games, art & crafts, and even movies. However, before using the activities with the children you are caring for, it’s important to get parental permission.
  • Choose from one of the following activities to reinforce this characteristic.
    • Option #1: Individually, students read the Understanding Children’s Toys Handout and using a copy of the toys only (page 2) from the Toy Box Sort, ask students to circle the toys appropriate for Tilly Wink (age 7) in green, the toys appropriate for Tinky Wink (age 5) in orange and the toys appropriate for Tiddly Wink (age 3) in yellow.
    • Option #2: Go over the Understanding Children’s Toys Handout and ask students to individually or in small groups to create a Bag of Tricks Google Slidedeck showcasing 3 items they would include for each of the Wink children: Tilly Wink, age 7, Tinky Wink, age 5 and Tiddly Wink, age 3.
    • Each slide should include the name and age of the child, 3 engaging, safe and age-appropriate activities represented by name and picture and a brief description for each activity explaining how it engages the child and what might be learned.


  • I usually grade each set of activities as students complete them and when I do that, I don’t give a test.
  • However, if you wanted a culminating assessment, you could easily create a self grading Google Form or Quizizz test or quiz that covers all of these sections.
  • If you wanted a culminating project in lieu of a test/quiz, you could also have students create a brochure around all of this information that parents would be looking for in a great sitter.


Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

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