What Works Career Choices
Go with What Works: Career Choices & the 10-yearPlan - Classroom Ideas

Learning to Give and Follow Directions

English teacher Christine Niemi at Brainerd High School in Minnesota used the Jack London story "To Build a Fire" in Possibilities to inspire much thought and debate among her 12th grade Tech Prep students. She stimulated discussion by asking, "What responsibilities do you take on when you tell someone else what to do? What are the possible consequences of not listening or not following directions? Who is to blame when something goes wrong?"

Niemi assigned an essay response to the question, Was the man's death the result of his own folly? Students were enthralled both with the story and with the philosophical issues raised, as shown in the resulting papers. The class was also asked to write a journal entry concerning choices students had made that were potentially life threatening. The response to the assignment was enthusiastic, showing once again how more learning takes place when students are engaged by relevant material.

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