Functional Life Skills


Readtopia is designed to focus on academics while also linking academic content to practical application within the context of students’ everyday lives wherever possible.

At ALL unit levels, Readtopia integrates BASIC life skills alongside the academic skills we are teaching. In this way, we guide students in making text-to-self connections and make the teaching of academic content more functional in nature. For example:

  • Interactive Read Aloud and Shared Reading lessons develop interpersonal skills including listening, responding and communicating with understanding.
  • During a lesson about weather, students talk about what to wear at different times of year, or how to stay safe during dangerous weather events.
  • Before reading a close reading article related to veterinary doctors, students focus on caring for personal needs as they identify reasons for seeing a doctor and the things doctors do to help students.
  • An anchor activity prior to the reading of a biography article builds self awareness as students identify interesting facts about each other.
  • Math lessons teach students to manage their personal finances as they count money and make correct change.

At the Middle School/High School level, the Readtopia Functional Life Skills Framework was created to explicitly link Readtopia unit Anchor Lessons with three major life domains: 

  • Daily Living Skills
  • Self-Determination and Interpersonal Skills
  • Employment Skills

Each domain has been broken down into Competencies and Sub-competencies  based on the Life Centered Education: The Teacher’s Guide, which is a product  of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Wandry, D., Wehmeyer, M. L., & Glor-Scheib, S. J. (2013). Life Centered Education: The Teacher’s Guide. Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.


Bodies that Work functional life skills color coding system
Functional Life Skills Color Code

The Framework distinguishes between lessons that explicitly and directly address functional life skills and suggestions for extending Anchor Activities to explicitly address functional life skills.

Bodies that Work functional life skills

Thematic Units