This past Wednesday, in the fourth through sixth grade class I teach at my church, our lesson looked at people who waved goodbye to ordinary and became extraordinary.
I'm not 100% sold on my classroom curriculum. It tends to want the students to do word searches and fill in the bubbles of speakers (Wednesday night the extraordinary speakers were Peter and James who'd just healed a lame man). I glossed over the lesson (I'm a list maker, I have to do everything) and had my students write three things they were good at. I did the same (I put reading, writing, and teaching.)
On the front of the handout, there was listed about twenty people who according to the publisher rated as extraordinary. We had Madam Curie, Mother Theresa, Buzz Aldrich, the Apostle Paul, Anne Frank, Tecumsah, Van Gogh, Moses, etc. You get the idea.
I went on the Internet and found photos of all those people (Pocohontas was the hardest to find because I wasn't willing to do Disney's). Then, I created a paragraph about what they were famous for. I left room next to the paragraph for the students to glue the extraordinary person (The least known extraordinary person was Kalpana Chawla, the first female astronant. I didn't know who she was either.)
The final row had a blank where the picture and paragraph should be. I had the students take the three things they were good and write a paragraph. Then, they were assigned to go home and find a picture of themselves to glue next to the paragraph.
Mine went like this:
Pamela Tracy was a wife, mother, and Christian from the United States who not only read maybe a million books but who also turned her love of words into writing books. Unable to keep her love of words to herself, she also taught tens of thousands of students to appreciate authors like O Henry, Langston Hughes, and Sue Grafton. She showed her students how to escape to other worlds. While teaching them to love other worlds, she also tried to show them where to put the commas and what to capitalize in their own writings.
My students left with the idea of not only could they really 'do' something, but that they already were 'doing' something. How about you? What three things are you good at and how would you write them into a descriptive paragraph. Write it and put it in the comment section. I'd love to see. (By the way, every single one of my male students will either be famous baseball or basketball stars. )