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Monday Morning Ready02.02.2015
Jumpstart Your Week!

In California’s Silicon Valley, it’s never too early to become an entrepreneur. Just ask 13-year-old Shubham Banerjee. The eighth-grader has launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print braille, the tactile writing system for the visually impaired. Tech giant Intel Corp. recently invested in his startup, Braigo Labs... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 5-6

What do you think is the most important angle in this article: young entrepreneurs, using technology to develop cheaper products, or finding solutions to help others? Explain your answer.

Grade 7-8

When Shubham Banerjee asked his parents how blind people read, they told him to “Google it.” When he discovered the answer—and how much it cost—he decided to do something about it. Do you think Shubham would have been as inspired to do this if his parents had just told him about the braille reading and writing system rather than encouraging him to find the answer on his own? Why or why not?

Grade 9-10

Today’s teens live in a world defined by technology. They build, they play, and they learn with electronic devices. Information is everywhere, and it’s easy to access. News is on 24 hours a day. Given this environment, do you find it surprising that teens such as Shubham would take such an interest in social problems or that they would use technology to find the answers? What problem would you like to solve? Is there any way that technology could provide the answer?

LESSON PLAN
Identify a path to success

PROCESS:

  1. Find and display videos about three people who followed different paths to succeed in their given fields. Encourage students to conduct additional research to learn more about each person.
  2. Rejoin as a class. Invite students to share what they learned. Instruct them to compare and contrast the motivation behind, development of, and potential benefits that could result from the contributions of each person. Then have students identify the characteristics that allowed each person to succeed. Guide students to recognize any characteristics that the three people share.
  3. Give each student a piece of paper. Instruct them to fold their papers in thirds and label the sections “I Think,” “I Can,” and “I Will.” Tell students to pick an issue that’s important to them. Then list ideas they “think” will fix or improve the issue, tell how they “can” do this, and what “will” happen when they do.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite student to share their ideas in small groups. Encourage classmates to brainstorm suggestions for expanding or fine-tuning one another’s ideas.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As students offer suggestions, challenge them to explain not only why but how their ideas can help classmates fix or improve specific issues. Encourage them to draw upon their own experiences for ideas.

Grades 5-6:
As students offer advice to classmates, challenge them to provide valid reasons and evidence to support their ideas. Encourage them to cite personal experience or specific sources to add credibility to their suggestions.

Grades 7-8:
After students offer suggestions have them evaluate the ideas as a whole. Challenge students to identify the most logical course of action for each situation.

Grades 9-10:
After students meet with their classmates give them a few minutes to write brief summary of what they discovered. Encourage them to address the following questions: Which ideas will work? Which won’t? What are the potential outcomes if they react to the same situation in different ways?

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
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