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Lesson Plan . “Role Models” .

Dan & Lisa

Role Models: a lesson in illustrating personal attributes in a narrative.
LESSON SUMMARY
In order to help students visualize goals toward which they can work during the year, they will spend
time brainstorming, listing, discussing, and writing about a role model they admire. This role model will be
someone with whom they have had personal contact at some point in their lives. Having written a vign-
ette describing this person, they will then be able to better identify important traits they see in their ment-
ors and which they should work to exhibit in their own lives.

ESSENTIAL QUESTION(S)
How do you “show” someone’s personal characteristics?

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES


Goal (qualitative outcome): Objective (measurable result):
Students will be able to: Students will:
•use language to show charac- •write a narrative illustrating the positive attributes of
ter traits a role model
•envision personal goals for •identify language in their writing that shows the
growth traits of a role model

TEACHING PROCEDURE
1.Play stories from storycorps.org
#1: http://www.storycorps.org/listen/stories/william-and-kimberly-weaver,
#2: http://www.storycorps.org/listen/stories/carrie-conley-and-jerry-johnson
2.While listening, students should note descriptive words and phrases as well as traits that they believe
are represented in the story.
3.Discuss stories and notes as a class connecting traits with specific evidence from the story.
4.Model making list of role models along with the attributes.
5.Students create their own list in similar fashion.
6.Hand out mentor text and read as a class (see attached)
7.Class identifies the ways in which the author presents the admirable traits of the role model.
8.Students select one of their role models and verbally share with a partner some of the stories they
think of that describe their interactions with that person.
9.Partners respond with what they hear/see in the story to help to flesh out and focus the story.
10.Students spend time writing a vignette or multiple vignettes about their role model.
11.Students read their piece to their partner and together identify both essential traits as well as the
lines of text that illustrate that attribute.
12.Each student makes a presentation card that includes both a representative line of text and the trait
they admire in their role model.
13.Class creates a circle and takes turns reading first their text, then revealing and reading their trait.
14.Students post their presentation cards on the “Role Model” wall.

d. johnson . l lammert
Lesson Plan . “Role Models” . Dan & Lisa

HANDSHAKES AND GROWING UP


"There's Mr. Johnson!" I whisper urgently to Alex as we careen through the beige and brown
and tan halls of the church's thinly carpeted upper floor. "Let's go!" My taste buds begin to sal-
ivate as they do in few situations, namely when I smell my mom's carmel corn, when someone
says the words "sour patch kids," and on Sunday mornings when I glimpse Mark Johnson, an edu-
cator of sorts for us city boys in the ways of wood-chopping, story-telling, motorcycling, and
goat-milking.

Somewhat tentatively, yet attempting to muster the confidence exhibited by this constantly-
witty and universally-knowledgeable man, I approach Mr. Johnson and stand firmly, with both feet
shoulder-width apart. I extend my hand up toward him in greeting as if to say "I'm a man, you're
a man, let's be men together and shake hands.” His gaze moves from the morning sky down to
the 10-year old boy in front of him as he gives me a look that strikes me as something like a full-
faced wink. The grizzled beard perched atop his wiry frame parts and he begins to speak.

"Good morning, Mr. Johnson," he rumbles, his face still wrapped tightly in a wink.

"Good morning, Mr. Johnson," I respond in practiced fashion. As has happened every Sunday
since he took the time to teach all us little boys the art of the handshake greeting, his large, paw-
like, catcher's mitt of a right hand emerges from a somewhat over-stuffed pocket and extends to
take my hand. Against the moisturizer-commercial softness of my own hand, the coarse grit of
his speaks to me of long days on his farm cleaning honeycombs, digging in new fence posts to
corral the cow, and building a new chicken coop to keep the hens in and mischievous little boys
out.

"It's pleasant to see you this morning, Mr. Johnson," I say confidently as my rite of passages
continues.

"It's pleasant to see you too, Mr. Johnson," he responds in kind, his eyes shouting approval at
mine. As I withdraw my hand from his paw, without a word and somewhat magically, I am rewar-
ded for my confidence, maturity, and politeness with the object for which my mouth has been
watering, the root beer barrel hard candy I look forward to every week (sometimes twice when I
can get away with it).

As Alex finishes exchanging his own pleasantries with our favorite Sunday morning adult, I
give this little gift to my awaiting taste buds and we again charge off down the hall as only little
boys can, no doubt with Mr. Johnson's face winking after us.

d. johnson . l lammert