My Personal Inspiration Project
Purpose | Goals | Objectives | Assessment
| Needs | MACUL Article | Other Lessons
Lesson Listings |
Overview | Part
- Two - Three - Four
samples of Final Projects
Why This Project is
Student learning was impacted tremendously by this project because students studied
what was relevant in their personal lives. This in-depth personal exploration allowed
students entry points to analyze and evaluate their experiences, then synthesize what they
learned into a PowerPoint presentation file. They were encouraged to use the file as
personal inspiration when they made post-high school graduation plans. Students improved
their skill of writing with depth as they described experiences and reflections during
each part of the project.
Students reflect about decision making in their lives and explore their
feelings about these life events. They will find what is their internal motivation
that brings them happiness. They will have this information as a guide while they
make post-high school graduation plans. Within Michigan, this project is great for
preparing students for the intensive analysis and reflection that goes into the essays for
the High School Proficiency Test.
My role is as a facilitator. After showing
examples, I work with students individually, or in small groups as they search for
information, reflect about personal experiences, and develop their projects. Much of
my time is spent answering questions, reassure students that their experiences are
interesting and important, and being a cheerleader as I persuade them to be brave and
delve into the parts of their lives that they may not normally inspect.
This five week project works on:
- Writing reflectively about important events and decisions
- Researching and evaluating poetry and music from Internet
- Making personal connections through writing
- Evaluating self, based on taking on-line personality tests
- Reflecting on how their personality traits influenced their
decisions regarding what was a positive working environments for them
- Applying presentation tools by synthesizing diversely generated
material into a PowerPoint presentation file.
Learning Focus and Objectives
MI HSCE - 9-12
- Standard I.I Understand and practice writing as a
- CE 1.1.4 Compose drafts that convey an impression,
express an opinion, raise a question, argue a position, explore a topic,
tell a story, or serv another purpose, while simultaneously considering
the constraints and possibilities of the selected form or genre
- Standard I.2 Use writing, speaking, and visual expression
for personal understanding and growth.
- CE 1.2.2 Write, speak, and visually represent to
develop self-awareness and insight (e.g., diary, journal writing,
- CE 1.2.3 Write, speak, and create artistic
representations to express personal experience and perspective (e.g.,
personal narrative, poetry, imaginative writing, slam poetry, blogs,
- Standard I.3 Communicate in speech, writing, and
multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience
and purpose (e.g., to reflect, persuade, inform, analyze, entertain,
- CE 1.3.1 Compose written, spoken, and/or multimedia
compositions in a range of genres (e.g., personal narrative, biography,
poem, fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, summary, literary analysis
essay, research report, or work-related text): pieces that serve a
variety of purposes (e.g., expressive, informative, creative, and
persuasive) and that use a variety of organizational patterns (e.g.,
expressive, informative, creative, and persuasive) and that use a
variety of organizational patterns (e.g., autobiography, free verse,
dialogue, comparison/contrast, definition, or cause and effect).
- Standard I.5 Produce a variety of written, spoken,
multigenre, and multimedia works, making conscious choices about language,
form, style, and/or visual representation for each work (e.g., poetry,
fiction and creative nonfiction stories, academic and literary essays,
proposals, memos, manifestos, business letters, advertisements, prepared
speeches, group and dramatic performances, poetry slams, and digital
- CE 1.5.5 Use writing, speaking, and visual expression
to develop powerful, creative and critical messages.
- Standard 2.2 Use a variety of reading, listening, and
viewing strategies to construct meaning beyond the literal level (e.g.,
drawing inferences; confirming and correcting; making comparisons,
connections, and generalizations; and drawing conclusions).
- CE 2.2.1 Recognize literary and persuasive strategies
as ways by which authors convey ideas and readers make meaning (e.g.,
imagery, irony, satire, parody, propaganda,
overstatement/understatement, omission, and multiple points of view).
- CE 2.2.2 Examine the ways in which prior knowledge
and personal experience affect the understanding of written, spoken, or
MI GLCE - Grade 8:
- R.CM.08.01 Connect personal knowledge, experience, and
understanding of the world to themes and perspectives in the text.
- R.CM.08.03 State global themes, universal truths, and
principles within and across texts to create a deeper understanding.
- R.CS.08.01 Evaluate the appropriateness of shared,
individual, and expert standards based on purpose, context, and audience in
order to assess their own work and work of others.
- W.GN.08.02 Write an historical expository piece (e.g.,
journal, biography, simulated memoir) that includes appropriate
organization, illustrations, marginal notes, and/or annotations.
- W.PR.08.01 Set a purpose, consider audience, and
replicate authors’ styles and patterns when writing narrative or
- W.PS.08.01 Exhibit individual style to enhance the
written message (e.g., in narrative text: personification, humor, element of
surprise; in informational text: emotional appeal, strong opinion, credible
Arts Edge National Standards
- Music: Content Standard #8:
Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines
outside the arts
Students compare in two or more arts how the characteristic materials of
each art (that is, sound in music, visual stimuli in visual arts, movement
in dance, human interrelationships in theatre) can be used to transform
similar events, scenes, emotions, or ideas into works of art.
Students explain ways in which the principles and subject matter of various
disciplines outside the arts are interrelated with those of music (e.g.,
language arts: compare the ability of music and literature to convey images,
feelings, and meanings; physics: describe the physical basis of tone
production in string, wind, percussion, and electronic instruments and the
human voice and of the transformation and perception of sound)
- Art: Content Standard #3: Choosing and evaluating
a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to
communicate intended meaning in their artworks Students use subjects,
themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and
aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks
Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the
skills gained to solve problems in daily life
- text of different forms helps us clarify our values.
- we receive joy in work that encourages the values we cherish.
- How are our values clarified by text?
- What values inspires what I do?
Reflect on their experiences by writing several personal
Analyze and evaluate decisions and events in terms of impact on
Analyze their strongest personality traits through literature
and music that best reflected themselves.
Analyze and evaluate what drive inside them led to happiness,
based on decision-making influenced by personality.
Synthesize all the reflective activities into a PowerPoint
presentation file that depicts analysis of their internal drive.
The first three parts of the project were graded on process. Besides
research during these parts, students wrote reflective narratives describing their
learning during each part. Content of these reflections and creative application
demonstrated students understanding of skills. Because the PowerPoint presentation file
was a student synthesis of the previous parts, it was graded one third on process and two
thirds on product (See rubric below). They were required to complete ten components for the presentation. The
underpinnings were quotes by themselves or others that showed a connection between the
components and the students' internal motivation. These quotes can also be recorded
on to the slides instead of printed.
Suggested Rubric to use for Part IV: Ideas section from the
Rubric by NWREL. The
Ideas section can be used to help students compose their reflections for Parts I
and III, but it's recommended as a guide, not scoring purposes.
You may customize a
rubric for any part of this project at
Prerequisites for Students
- Using browser software to access web sites
- Using search engines
- Copy and Paste between web pages and PowerPoint, or other
presentation software, or word processor
- Using a scanner
- Digital camera or camera phone
- Internet access.
- Internet browsing software.
- Computer lab preferred. Can make do with fewer computers.
- Microsoft PowerPoint, or other presentation software (or use a
- Scanner with graphics software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
Lesson Listings |
Overview | Part
- Two - Three - Four
samples of Final Projects