Lively Lessons: Previewing Activity for Students (Part 1)

This week, we share three Lively Lessons in three days to prepare for the Meet Students Who Are Changing the World student panel discussion, taking place Thursday, January 21, at 1 PM ET.

AmandaGorman_polaroidToday’s lesson features a previewing activity to help motivate students and frontload information about the panel discussion, set purpose about the theme, and help students make personal connections to the content.

Can’t attend Meet Students Who Are Changing the World? Register and be alerted when the archive is available. Not the right fit for your classroom? Consider modifying these ideas for use with other content.

ElijahWilborn_polaroidAll students are capable of creating change. The Meet Students Who Are Changing the World panelists are just a few examples of students making a difference in the world today, and it is important for students to recognize that they are still students, just like other young people. Similarly, even the greatest leaders and change makers were at some point the same age as your students, perhaps living a life not so different (or maybe very different) from their own.

HannahHerbst_polaroidIn this activity, students “meet” the panelists through online biographies and news stories, then compare and contrast panelist experiences and interests to their own.

Working individually, in pairs, or small groups, have students select and research one of the student panelists. As they read biographies and news stories, have students note details about the life, interests, or projects of the panelists. Then, have students create a Venn diagram and list similarities and differences between themselves and their panelist.


Amanda, 2015 ANNpower Fellow

Elijah, 2015 Toyota TeenDrive 365 in School Video Challenge Winner

Hannah, America’s Top Young Scientist 2015

Maria Elena, 2015 Siemens Competition Winner

Olivia, One More Generation (OMG) Founder

mgrimmett_polaroidFlexible Grouping Ideas

Have students work in small groups, each student researching a different student panelist and comparing to their own experiences. Then, have students “introduce” their panelist to the group, and have the other students circle similarities on their Venn diagrams. Have students discuss any themes or clusters of traits that they identify.


Add complexity to this activity by asking students to identify similarities and differences between three individuals: a student panelist, their own life, and the life of another noteworthy change maker.


Discovery Education Resources

Discovery Education is a safe destination for students to research the lives of change makers, including through these Content Collections.


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