The Failure Bundle: 4 Lessons that Help Celebrate & Destigmatize Failure

The Failure Bundle: 4 Lessons that Help Celebrate & Destigmatize Failure
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Lesson #1: Celebrating & Destigmatizing Failure: 20 Quotes & 20 Prompts

The fear of failure and the punishing expectations that so many of our students place on themselves has become a serious problem. Depression, anxiety, and suicide have resulted - worldwide - because of an unhealthy relationship with failure.

In this lesson, students will work to celebrate and destigmatize failure by responding to quotes on failure through various prompts. There are 20 quotes on failure by authors with diverse backgrounds. There are 20 prompt cards of which ask the students to respond to the selected quote in a wide-range of ways: argumentative, narrative, expository writing, conducting research, having discussion, creating multimodal products, and more!

The differentiation that this lesson affords is endless. Mix and match the cards to meet your classes' needs. Students can work individually, in pairs, small groups, or whole class.

Unique details of this project?
- 20 Carefully Curated Quotes from authors of diverse backgrounds
- 20 Carefully Designed Prompts that help students develop a wide range of skills
- Teachers can mix & match as appropriate for each of their classes
- Students are afforded choice when they get to select a quote and prompt card
- Students are engaged in a reflective practice about failure

The time required for this lesson is dependent upon how many times you have students mix and match their quotes and prompts. Some prompts require students to do a bit of research, some require students to create products, and other require time to work with others.

This detailed project includes:
- CCSS Anchor Standards
- Teaching Tolerance & Anti-Bias Framework Anchor Standards
- Lesson & Resources Included List
- 20 Quotes each on a half-sheet to be cut-out
- 20 Prompts, each on a half-sheet to be cut-out

Skills developed in this project:
- Interpreting words & phrases as they are used in a text
- Analyzing how specific word choices shape meaning or tone
- Comparing & analyzing how two or more texts address similar themes or topics
- Examining & conveying complex ideas in writing
- Developing real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences
- Preparing for & participating effectively in a range of conversations & collaborations with diverse partners

Lesson #2: Learning from Others about the Experience of Failure Using Interviews

Everyone experiences failure. From big to small moments, we all have stories to tell. Wouldn't it be great to give our young people the opportunity to learn from people in their lives who are successful, but have experienced failure?

In this lesson, students select two individuals to interview: one who is very familiar to the student and with whom they have regular contact, and a second person with whom they have access to but is also in a career or participates in a hobby in which the student has great interest.

Then they will compare the two individual's similarities and difference, create 10 interview questions, conduct the interviews, participate in a reflection, and then use the interview data to produce one of four products: one-pagers, news report, a letter to future self, and thank you notes.

Many teachers have all students do the thank you note activity and then choose one additional option.

Unique details of this lesson?
- Students have choice in interviewees, but are guided in making meaningful selections
- Interview question writing tips are provided
- Interviewing tips are provided
- It is participant-centered and inquiry-based
- Students practice a wide-range of socio-emotional skills as well as academic skills
- Product choices can be easily differentiated for a wide-range of student needs
- This lesson can be used in class or as an out-of-class project

This detailed lesson includes:
- Aligned CCSS Anchor Standards
- Aligned Teaching Tolerance & Anti-Bias Anchor Standards
- Student instructions & guide sheets for selecting two people, noting why they were selected and creating 10 interview questions
- Venn Diagram guide sheet where students can display the similarities and difference between the two people interviewed.
- Tips for creating successful interview questions
- Tips for conducting successful interviews
- Place for notes to be taken while interviewing
- Instruction cards for each of the 4 products: one-pagers, news report, letter to future self, and thank you notes

Skills developed in this lesson
- Conducting short research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating an understanding of the subject under investigation
- Preparing for and participating effectively in a conversation with diverse partners
- Evaluating a speaker's point-of-view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric
- Presenting information, findings, and supporting evidence
- Writing for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences

Lesson #3: Listening & Viewing Comprehension - Discussion & Writing Prompts: "The Unexpected Benefit of Celebrating Failure" by Astro Teller, TedTalk

What if students knew more about the benefits of failure? What if they knew more about Alphabet, Google's parent company, that also owns X: Moonshot Factory? Do you think your students would benefit from learning how diversity in experience and expertise fuels innovation? Or how embracing, expecting, and celebrating failure is how the world's greatest innovations are created?

And, who doesn't need more practice with visual and listening comprehension?

This lesson is for you! Complete with student and teacher guides, link and QR code for the TedTalk, and start/stop times to help you facilitate discussion and assess understanding, and writing prompts to continue the thinking and processing… we've made it easy for you to discuss the benefits of failure with your class tomorrow!

Depending on how you utilize the 3 writing prompts, this lesson will take 1 - 2 class periods (50 minutes each). The length of the TedTalk is 15:33 minutes.

Unique details of this lesson?
- Link and QR code are provided on both the student and teacher guide, allowing this lesson to be whole class, small groups, or individual.
- Uses a TedTalk from someone currently in the field of innovation who is operating a company that students could one day work for
- Visual and listening literacy is practiced
- Student reflection is built into the guide
- Students are asked to draw, reflect, add/change, predict, justify, and validate responses
- Discussion prompts are provided throughout for teacher use, along with notes on where to stop/start the video clip.

This detailed lesson includes:
- Aligned CCSS Anchor Standards
- Aligned Teaching Tolerance & Anti-Bias Anchor Standards
- Aligned SEL competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, & Emotional Learning
- 5-page student comprehension guide
- 5-page teacher guide with answers, discussion questions, & start/stop times
- 3 writing prompts that offer choice for students in applying knowledge to their own lives and perspectives
- Link and QR code to the TedTalk by Astro Teller, PhD

Skills developed in this lesson
- Integrating & evaluating information presented in diverse media & formats, including visually & orally
- Applying knowledge of language to comprehend more fully when listening
- Preparing for & participating effectively in a range of conversations with diverse partners
- Students will examine diversity by looking at how different backgrounds and expertise at work at beneficial in creating moonshots
- Recognize one's own emotions, thoughts, & values & how they influence behavior.
- Assess one's strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a 'growth mindset.'

Lesson #4: The Celebrating Failure Gallery Walk: Reflection, Creation, Connection.

Failure, and the fear of failure, often cause strong negative emotions. Give students the opportunity to reflection on failure, fear of failure, and identify experiences where benefits came from failure.

Students use their creative skills to visually represent their lived experiences and relationship to failure. Through a gallery walk, students relate to peers by connecting in critical ways to the visual representations created.

This is a fabulous way to destigmatize failure, celebrate failure as a benefit, and validate students' creative expression.

Depending on class size and parameters that you set on the visual representations, this activity will take approximately 2 class periods.

Unique details of this lesson?
- Student voice is validated
- Self-expression is validated
- Students are reflective using evidence from their own lives
- Students learn from their peers
- Highly adaptable to any learning environment. Room for teacher creativity & differentiation.

This detailed lesson includes:
- Aligned CCSS Anchor Standards
- Aligned Teaching Tolerance & Anti-Bias Anchor Standards
- Aligned SEL competencies from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, & Emotional Learning
- 3-page student guide to reflection, creation, and connection

Skills developed in this lesson
- Integrating & evaluating information presented in diverse media & formats, including visually & orally
- Writing explanatory and narrative text using well-chosen details
- Making strategic use of visual displays to express perspective and learning
- Evaluating a speaker's point of view and compare to other visual displays on a common theme

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Sincerely, Beth Salyers
Off The Beaten Path - Curriculum & Instruction

If you like this lesson, check out these:

Demystifying Failure: 20 Quotes & 20 Prompts for Writing and More

The Canon Project: Thinking Critically When Evaluating Text & Media

spoken word bundle

Learning about failure from others - interviews

Total Pages
75 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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