Getting high school students to practice inferring can be difficult if they are not engaged with an exciting text. This is a story of survival that they likely have never heard before, and the TED Radio Hour tells it in such a way that students are immediately enthralled.
This is a 30 minute lesson in which students interact with the text in order to infer Diana Nyad's beliefs and motivations based on her tale of her amazing swim from Cuba to Key West. The presentation includes photos from her swim as well as a link to the 13 minute podcast.
Students are then given statements and asked if Nyad would agree or disagree with the statements based on the transcript of the story. Teachers can ask students to discuss in a think, pair, share format or a Socratic style discussion depending on the teacher's comfort level with these formats. The statements are formatted in the style of the ACT Reading test.
The file includes the presentation and a teacher's guide with notes. This lesson fits nicely as an inspiring story at the beginning of the year, or at anytime with a unit related to survival stories.