Lesson Plan

The Power of Stories

Lesson Plan Author: Michele Thiessen

Course Name: ED 222 – Instructional Technology, Butler Community College

Professor: Dr. Shellie Gutierrez

Curriculum Framing Questions

Essential Question:

How do past experiences shape successful entrepreneurs as well as all of us?

Content Questions:

  1. What can we learn from creating a timeline of Veronika's story?
  2. How have entrepreneurs’ past experiences shaped their lives?
  3. How are students shaped by their personal experiences?

Lesson Summary

As an introduction, the students will review a video about an entrepreneur and sketch out a timeline of events in her life that led to where she is now. Next, they will read others' stories and consider what factors contributed to their success by creating a timeline based on one article/individual. Last, the students will use a technology tool to create a visual timeline that demonstrates how their experiences have impacted their past and will shape their future.

Grade Level and Subject Area(s)


Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  1. After watching a video describing Veronika’s story, students will create a timeline of Veronika's story and brainstorm ideas for their own timeline project.
  2. By reading entrepreneurial stories, students will analyze the impact of story on the life of another individual (of their choosing) by creating a timeline.
  3. At the conclusion of the lesson, students will prepare a visual timeline using an online technology tool that indicates how their past might affect their future story.

Lesson Procedures and Time Requirements

Class Opener (15 minutes)

-Video and discussion: Since the class cannot access YouTube on the desktop computers, we will access it from the teacher’s computer and watch a video on the Promethean board.

-Video is called “One Stitch Closer: Veronika empowers other women” (2:32) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-kvh1w60w&list=P...

-After the video, the class will briefly discuss these questions:

  • Who is involved in the story?
  • What obstacles did Veronika have to overcome?
  • What steps or events took place in her life to this point?
  • What might come next for her and her business?

-Next, based on our discussion we will sketch out a Timeline for Veronika's story (handout provided), identifying her experiences and what she learned through them.

-As a class, we will preview the upcoming timeline assignment and brainstorm ideas for students' timelines. Examples of experiences they could learn from:

  • Sports try-outs or team
  • Spending time with Grandparents learning something
  • Trips
  • Difficulties they learned from
  • Jobs
  • School activities or classes
  • Special teachers or coaches

Click here for Symbaloo/Tackk Activity (45 minutes)

-Open Symbaloo and click on the “Start Here” tile.

-This will take students to the Tackk instruction page. Follow directions as listed on the Tackk page. There are two main sections to this portion of the lesson.

  • Reading others’ stories (6 choices of articles), and choosing one to create a timeline (students will be doing this independently, but the teacher will have access to details about all the articles, and should be walking around the room answering questions and guiding students. After this step lead a short class discussion on the individuals. Another option would be to have students pair up based on what they read and compare/discuss.
  • Creating a visual timeline of their life focusing on personal and professional events and what they learned through them (Rough Draft and Final draft using technology tool required). This will require the teacher to reiterate the discussion at the beginning of class related to what experiences are appropriate for students to include. Teacher should be walking around answering questions and guiding students as they work.Sample of timeline.

Class Sharing and Closing (20 minutes)

-Students share timeline with the class

-Close with encouragement to continue gaining experience and working toward future goals

Materials and Resources

  • Promethean board and YouTube access for opening video
  • Desktop computers with Internet connection
  • Printed copy of Veronika’s timeline with a blank one on the other side for second timeline requirement
  • Blank copy of timeline for rough draft
  • Printed copy of a sample timeline using ReadWriteThink
  • Printer to share their work and for assessment purposes

Accommodations for Differentiated Instruction

Special Needs Learner:

I found these suggestions to be appropriate for this lesson. From https://www.teachervision.com/special-education/new-teacher/48460.html?detoured=1.

Use these appropriate strategies with learning disabled students:

  • Provide oral instruction for students with reading disabilities. Present tests and reading materials in an oral format so the assessment is not unduly influenced by lack of reading ability.
  • Provide learning disabled students with frequent progress checks. Let them know how well they are progressing toward an individual or class goal.
  • Give immediate feedback to learning disabled students. They need to see quickly the relationship between what was taught and what was learned.
  • Make activities concise and short, whenever possible. Long, drawn-out projects are particularly frustrating for a learning disabled child.
  • Learning disabled youngsters have difficulty learning abstract terms and concepts. Whenever possible, provide them with concrete objects and events—items they can touch, hear, smell, etc.
  • Learning disabled students need and should get lots of specific praise. Instead of just saying, “You did well,” or “I like your work,” be sure you provide specific praising comments that link the activity directly with the recognition; for example, “I was particularly pleased by the way in which you organized the rock collection for Karin and Miranda.”
  • When necessary, plan to repeat instructions or offer information in both written and verbal formats. Again, it is vitally necessary that learning disabled children utilize as many of their sensory modalities as possible.
  • Encourage cooperative learning activities (see Teaching with Cooperative Learning) when possible. Invite students of varying abilities to work together on a specific project or toward a common goal. Create an atmosphere in which a true “community of learners” is facilitated and enhanced.

In this particular lesson, the directions will be both given verbally and in writing. The students will receive progress checks after each step of the lesson.

Non-Native English Learner:

I found an excellent resource on the writing process for non-native English Learners. It emphasizes the importance of pre-writing and gives excellent ideas for the entire writing process.

Here are a few ideas, more can be found at http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/672.

  • Pre-writing: brainstorming, using word banks, dictations
  • Drafting: ok to insert native language words at this stage, use notes
  • Revising/Editing: peer or group reviews, language expansion by combing sentences, use resources
  • Word Processing: Helps with this process, makes it legible and less frustrating

In this particular lesson, non-native English learners would benefit from peer or group review of the rough draft of their timeline. There are some good strategies for helping students comprehend text here: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/811. In terms of presenting the Plot Diagram or Timeline, the students should have an alternate assessment option such as a video they can prepare at home or an online presentation tool.

Gifted Learner:

Extension Activities for the Gifted Student include:

On the Symbaloo page, there are links to articles for further study:

  • This American Life podcast about “Origin Stories”
  • “How a Young Community of Entrepreneurs is Rebuilding Detroit”
  • “11 Entrepreneurs Share How They Overcame Their Biggest Failure”
  • “How to Tell Your Story”
  • “Steve Jobs and the Seven Rules of Success”

Students should choose one article or the podcast to read/listen to. After taking notes on the topic, the students should create an online poster (such as a glog or tackk). The poster should explore the topic in depth and contain additional videos, links and pictures that relate to the article.

More advanced students may also explore other methods of sharing their life story using technology such as capzles, prezi, animoto or something of their choosing.

Student Assessment

Turn in: Timeline based on article, Rough Draft and Final Draft of Timeline