• Heather

How To Teach: Cleaning Skills

Importance of Learning How to Clean

Cleaning is a great way for students to maintain their own space AND contribute to their home, no matter if they live with family or in the community. Cleaning skills also cross over into just about every vocational job, so it’s a worthy skill for students to learn and implement!



Focus Skills

Cleaning Lesson Unit

-The purpose of cleaning tools and supplies

-What tools and supplies do use on different surfaces and environments

-What part of a room to start cleaning

-How to move the cleaning tools to clean efficiently

-When to clean

-Why cleaning is important



Why Focus On These Skills

Just like you teach them to keep their body clean, they need to keep their living space clean. All students can assist in cleaning their home and the environment where they work or volunteer, so it is a skill they should/will use on a daily basis.



When To Teach

Drop your Cleaning lesson into any part of your schedule. It is never too early or too late in the school year to address.


Tip: Once you do teach Cleaning, consider adding End of the Day Responsibilities to continually practice cleaning in your classroom, such as- clean the door knobs, wipe the white board, clean desks, tables, chairs, cabinet handles, sweep the floor under desks, etc. Rotate every 2-3 weeks so students get a variety of cleaning experience every day.




I’ve created a complete lesson unit of materials for teaching this topic. The materials are comprehensive (5 full lessons) and most appropriate for life skill lessons at the middle school, high school and transition level students. Below are some lesson unit highlights!


Lesson Objective

Students will identify the top to bottom cleaning method and use cleaning techniques (sweep, mop, vacuum, spray cleaner with cloth) to clean a space.



Lesson Vocabulary

Broom, cleaning cloth, dustpan, mop, spray cleaner, vacuum




Resource Perks

  • Pre and Post assessment

  • 1 page narrative explaining the skill with and without visual text supports (to incorporate functional reading)

  • 5 skill practice activities to learn and/or reinforce the focus skills

  • Game for students to practice their skills (because learning is fun)

  • Boom Cards for practice or assessment

  • Student learning reflection worksheet (thumbs up or down)

  • Encouraging on-topic quotes (use as a classroom poster or starter for each class period)

  • 5 strategies for success (tips for being successful with the focus skills)

  • Coloring page with on-topic graphics

  • Skill mastery certificate for positive recognition and reinforcement

  • Data collection sheet on specific focus skills

  • Homework sheet to encourage students to practice the skill outside of the school setting

  • Word search of key vocabulary terms

  • Visuals for focus skills with age appropriate colors and graphics



Ultimate Goal

If students can wipe their desk or table clean after a project or lunch, mission accomplished. If they can transfer that skill to cleaning their locker, a window, or a door knob, and furniture from top to bottom, well done! As the skill of cleaning continues to different surfaces (floors, carpet) and environments (home, bedroom, work), the true skill of cleaning has been mastered!



Link to Curriculum


Cleaning Lesson Unit


Cleaning A Room Mini Lesson Unit


Independent Living Lesson Unit Bundle


Life Skills Curriculum Bundle




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