Li’s Unit Plan( draft)

What Is Success?

What Does Success Mean To Adolescents? 

Grade Level: 11-12

This is a 5-lesson of “What Does Success Mean?” unit, and the five lessons are as the following:

 Week 1: Students will be introduced to the unit and learn the various definition of success.

  1. What is success?

1)      Dictionary definition: a favorable termination of a venture; specify: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. (Webster 7th New collegiate Dictionary)

2)      Society definition: success now means a balanced personal and professional life, by working with more focus, alignment and balance, not harder!

                             3)       Individual definition: achieve what really important to you.

                             4)      Other definition: seek for pleasure; seek for meaning      things; seek for something larger than life.

                             5)   According to the media, success means a busy and lucrative career, good relationship and family life, a great house, exciting vacations, lots of friends and, last but not least, plenty of money and material things.

2.      Does any of the following things means success according to the definition above?

1)      Entering college with high GPA.2)      Spreading the word of God.3)      Helping the less fortunate.4)      Raising a family with big house, beautiful cars, and great kids.5)      Being rich like Hollywood stars.6)      Being famous like JFK.7)      Traveling the world to realize your childhood dream.8)      Being a writer.9)      Being a boss in a big company.10)  Being a Domestic violence survivor.

3. What was your childhood dream when adults asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 

1) An athlete

2)  A stay-at-home mom or dad

3)  A traveler

4)  A fiction writer

5) A truck driver

6) A nurse

7) A mechanical engineer

     4. Can you brainstorm possible factors that contribute to success? (In small groups)·        passion·        dedication and commitment·        determination and perseverance·        integrity

Week 2: In this lesson plan, students discuss about what success means to adolescents?

  1. What does success mean to you personally?
    • Successes as you see it, feel it, and experience it and what it means to you personally.
  2. Can you list the things that you have to do in order to achieve your dream?
  3. Will you be happy to realize your parents’ dream instead of yours?
  4. Do you agree that it is equally important if you help others reach their potential success?
  5. How do you think about scarifying your family in order to reach your dream? Why or why not?

Week 3: Students discuss about two short stories that provided by the classroom teacher.

  1. How are you going to use your money if you become a millionaire overnight? (Lottery)
  2. How much money is considered enough for a family? Do you agree that the more money the better? Why or why not?
  3. Who do you admire as the most successful person? Why?
  4. Being rich and unhappy, or being poor and very happy, which do you prefer?
  5. Will you be satisfied with a routine job day in and day out, and live a comfortable life with your own family?

 Week 4: This lesson is called “Successful People I know.” (Interview)

1.      Guest speaker from local community.(In the form of news conference—questions and answers)

·        Former graduates from college

·        Parents

·        Human resource personnel

2.      Students’ findings about the successful people they know. (Parents, relatives, community members, etc.)

·  Does it necessary mean who we are by judging our social status and financial situation?

·  Between money and power, which do you prefer if let you choose? What will you do if you are given both of them?

·  Does corruption roots from money and power?

3.      Do you think the education you receive today will benefit your future success? Why or why not?

·  What is your suggestion for your school district regarding promoting everybody’s dream instead of only SAT scores?

·  Is it important to arrive at a universal definition of success? Why or why not?

Week 5: Discussion and assessment— require students to do a reflection journal during the past four weeks as homework, and they will hand in their journal and do a presentation in the fifth week class.

Unit Objectives:

1.Recognize the various definitions of success

2.Identify the basic factors that leads to success

3.Students try to define their own definition of success

4.Students dream their own dreams and understand they need build steps for their own  potential success


  1. Divide students into small groups and discuss about the various definition of success.
  2. brainstorm possible factors that contribute to success
  3. Read the related materials that provided by teacher and discuss about them.
  4. Interview community successful people, and collect information either from internet or parents.
  5. Fill out handout questionnaires
  6. Review the provided examples and determine if any of the protagonists is a success according to students’ own opinions.

 Materials I plan to use for above lesson plans: 1. Articles from (handouts) Bill Gates Tells the Secret of His Success (Jan 4th, 2006)

2. Articles from (handouts)

3. Questionnaire (handout)

4. Non-fiction stories:

·        A Child Called It, a bestselling memoir by David Pelzer, a survivor of child abuse and a successful writer.

·        Seven Habits of Highly Effectiveness to Greatness (2004) by Sean Covey

Pay attention: The above is my big vision of my five-week Unit Plan What is Success? I will add flesh into it as time goes on according to the standard lesson plan model. Some procedures and contents might be changed as I do each detailed lesson plan in the following weeks.  I’d appreciate it very much if you can offer some valuable suggestions.  Posted by L. L.



1 Comment

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One response to “Li’s Unit Plan( draft)

  1. sunyprof

    Li Li, your question is very big–I encourage you to work on your sub-questions–the questions that will focus your unit in a particular area.

    Also, you will want to really search now for texts you want to use–a variety of texts.

    RE: your definition of success–I strongly encourage you to work from a constructivist framework and ask your students to define success–rather than leave it up to Webster. KES

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