Best Practice


Lesson plans are designed to be a guide for teachers. Please feel free to be as flexible as you need to be. We have included 3 options which vary depending on how much time you allot to the program each week. The lesson plans will allow you to complete the entire Student Guide if you dedicate a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes per week. Minimum times are provided for each activity on each day. If you can allot more time, great! If not, as the teacher or facilitator, you will need to make sure you move things along. Below are some tips to save time when implementing this program along with the lesson plans:

1.   Have your Educator’s Guide ready and accessible, and make sure all students come prepared each day with his/her student guide.

2.   For the short story assignments and/or journaling opportunities, it could be helpful if each student had a spiral notebook or notebook paper for writing character stories and journaling. This could also become a journal of sorts that could be a memorable and valuable item for them to refer to in the future.

3.   On the day you will show the video segment, make sure you have the TV/VCR set up, and the videocassette/DVD is cued up to the proper story.

4.   For group work, consider pre-assigning groups that will stay together for the entire unit (month), mixing learning styles and personalities. Groups assemble more quickly. And build history and trust in discussions over time

5.   Have any additional resources and materials from the Resource Notebook prepared for use along with any needed audio-visual equipment.

6.   For in-class discussions, remember, you control the time! You must decide how much time you can allow for discussion and keep things moving to achieve that time. Encourage students to talk, but to give short examples or reactions, rather than telling long stories. Discussion times often end up providing the most teachable moments, and meaningful times of interaction between teacher and the students and students and their peers.

“Game Plan” exercises at the end of each week are to be taken seriously, and could be the most important part of this curriculum because it is the application element. Before the unit, encourage students to put what they are learning into action and help establish personal accountability.

Do you have a “best practice” that has worked in your classroom? Let us know by emailing us at