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Lesson Review

Author:Tiffany Holliday
ETP Title:Choose Your Own Adventure of Change
Organization:JDS Uniphase
ETP Type:Creating a New Lesson
Grade Level(s):9,10,11,12
Subject Area(s):Language Arts,Career Education

Lesson Abstract:

Change is inevitable in all aspects of our lives but especially during the teenage years. Adolescents endure puberty, transition from middle school to high school, move through different classes throughout the day, embrace new technologies, lose friends and gain new ones, experience transitions in their family life, etc. Changes can become even more dramatic when we enter adulthood. If adolescents can learn how to effectively embrace change during that crucial time of development, they will be more successful and empowered as adults.

This series of lessons will help students understand their own attitude and perspective on change, foresee change before most others do, and adjust quickly so that they can turn moments of change into personal advantages. Students will read the story in, Who Moved My Cheese? For Teens by Spencer Johnson and then write their own story about change.

Focal Standards

The California focal standard which is met, taught, and assessed in this ETP is:

Common Core Standards 9-10/11-12, Writing Standard 5:

(5) Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, reviewing, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a purpose and audience.

Measurable Objectives:

Students will be able to (1) categorize and reflect on their personal attitude around change, (2) determine a realistic change that high school seniors will face upon graduation and then (3) write a "choose your own adventure" narrative (using the the planning, revising, and editing process) about that anticipated change in which they demonstrate the four approaches to change as outlined in Who Stole My Cheese?.


A rubric will be developed and then used to assess the narratives that students write about change. Categories of the rubric will include:

  • Students’ use of the writing process, including attempting a new approach to that process
  • The authenticity and significance of the change event
  • The understanding of the four approaches to change and the benefits and consequences of each
  • The appropriateness of the style and tone for the purpose and audience
  • Creativity and design

21st Century Skill(s)

Life and Career Skills: Adapt to Change

  • Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities

21st Century Skill(s) Application

These skills will first be analyzed by students during the lesson when they read the story Who Moved My Cheese? as they determine how each of the four characters responds differently to change and the outcomes of those responses. Students will then determine their typical, personal response to change is. Finally, these skills will be practiced in the assessment when students respond to a situation involving change and write about it.

Fellowship Description

A major division of JDS Uniphase is CommTest, a leading network and service enablement company, that is transitioning into providing a more integrated portfolio that helps customers better respond to the rising growth of essential hardware and software equipment. For this project I am working within the Human Resources Department on a project called “Change Ready Leaders.” My task is to develop training guides, materials, and presentations for CommTest Leaders around the topic of change management. The purpose is to enable these leaders to shift the company’s culture around change, beginning with the departments that they manage individually. During this fellowship the main area in which I am building skill is critical thinking and problem solving, specifically using systems thinking and making judgments and decisions throughout my research and development phases of preparing the materials and presentation. I have primarily been exposed to a variety of careers within a human resources department, where I have learned that this division of a company is responsible for such a great deal more than just completing new hire paperwork and providing work safety training. My sponsor is transitioning to a new role as a Human Resources Senior Manager for Organization Development where her responsibility is to identify and implement communication tactics and tools that expedite employee adoption of change.

The connection between the ETP and Fellowship. :

Being members of an academy where the focus is to prepare students for college and career and to give them a competitive advantage when entering the work force, my students are very familiar with learning not only content knowledge at school but also important life and 21st Century skills. Mastery of work readiness skills is required for graduation from the academy program so students will be eager to learn and practice such skills as part of this lesson. 

Since this version of the story Who Moved My Cheese? has been targeted specifically to teenagers, they will respond well and understand how this seemingly “adult” problem is indeed a common life challenge.  By having the opportunity to identify how they personally respond to change and learning more productive responses to change, students will be learning a skill that they can immediately apply to their own life.

During the first lesson of this unit studets will experience an orchestrated "change" in class and then I will share an overview of my experiences at JDSU.  I will reinforce two main ideas: first, what change management is (and possibly share some examples of my work), and second, how I experienced a change in work environments as a result of this fellowship. There is a possbility that my mentor will be available to come speak to my class as well. 

Instructional Plan:


Choose Your Own Adventure of Change: Lesson #4

Subject: English 4

Time: 1 class period of ___ minutes (Wednesday) and 1 class period of 58 minutes (Thursday)




·         Copies of Assignment Overview

·         Copies of Adventure of Change Rubric

·         Copies of PLAN Think Sheet (copied back/front so students have 2 Think Sheets total)

·         PLAN Think Sheet Sample



·         “PLAN Strategy” PowerPoint

·         Copies of Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens by Spencer Johnson, for reference



·          Chart paper and markers (optional)

·          Projector

·          Document camera or overhead projector to complete sample Think Sheet


Prior Student Learning:

Students have read and analyzed the story Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens

Essential Question for This Unit: “What would you do if you weren't afraid?”


Students will be able to…

·         Draft a narrative about change by using the PLAN Strategy (a new technique)

Lesson Activities:

*Unit Opening* (Included here but will be done as part of Lesson 1 in this unit)

When students arrive to class for Lesson 1 of this unit, I will explain that there is a new policy for our class: Studies have shown that when you work with your shoes off, you are more relaxed and focused so I am now requiring you to remove your shoes during our class and sit with your feet touching the ground. I will also teach with my shoes off. This will not only help you relax and focus but it will put a calm over the entire class, something that is needed in our post-lunch lively class.

Ask students to now remove their shoes.

Allow time for whining and complaining and talking to happen for a minute or so.  Bring the class together and begin discussion of Fellowship experience (This info is included in the PowerPoint but would not be used by other teachers). Hopefully students will start to make the connection between the fake new rule and my experience with change management in my Fellowhship.

Allow time for discussion later after it is revealed that the rule is not real.


Students respond in writing in their notebooks to the following prompt (included in the “PLAN Strategy” PowerPoint:

·          Soon you will be graduating from high school and entering the larger world where you will face many new experiences, challenges, and changes. What are some significant changes that you, or any graduating senior, might face as you enter the next stage of your life?

We will share responses to this when we complete a brainstorm later in this lesson.


Review of Assignment

Students are given a copy of the assignment “Choose Your Own Adventure of Change” and skim over it to get an idea about what is required (see attachment: Assignment Overview). Give students an opportunity to ask clarifying questions about the assignment.

Give One-Get One

Students share their response to the prompt from the Lesson Springboard with three different partners. After sharing their own ideas (give one), they also write down at least one idea from each of the three different partners (get one) to add to their list.


Before having students share, teacher shares a personal experience with changes (preferably one after high school, but any change would be fine). Teacher also shares information about how quickly things can change in our society with the use of new and emerging technology, how that relates to the workplace, and also why people are sometimes resistant to it.


On the white board or on chart paper, teacher records ideas from students about anticipated changes after high school as students share out. Some possibilities include:

·          Living in a new city for school, new school and teachers, friends move away, parents no longer support me financially

Students pick one of the topics that will be the basis for the story they will write.


Direct Instruction and Guided Practice (Work Time: PLAN Strategy)

-           Present the PowerPoint “PLAN Strategy” (the entire lesson is included in the PowerPoint but start the PLAN part now). The PLAN Strategy consists of a graphic organizer that reinforces the following: Preview the audience, goals, and words to use, List main ideas and details on a Think Sheet, Assign numbers to indicate order, Note ideas in sentences by following your plan. 

-           After each step of the strategy is explained, ask for misunderstandings, and then complete that part of the PLAN Think Sheet as an example. Refer to the PLAN Think Sheet Sample for help

-           Once each section is complete as a class and there are no remaining questions or misunderstandings at that point, allow students to work on that step for their own story. Circulate the room and offer assistance where needed.

-           Repeat this process for each of the steps (P-L-A-N). You could also have students share ideas and what they are working on before moving on to the next step.


Lesson Closure:

Students add to their notebooks, under their Do Now response, an explanation of what they learned today about how to handle change or about the new drafting strategy that they learned.


Possible Prior Student Misconceptions: Students might not have knowledge of a "choose your own adventure" story so I will clarify or explain if needed.


Student Assessment Artifacts:

First student artifact: complete PLAN Think Sheet


Second student artifact: completed first draft of story


Variations and Extensions:

Rather than splitting this up over 2 class periods and giving work time after each step, you could review all the steps at once (in one class period) and then have students complete the Think Sheet and their draft on their own for homework.  A lesson on peer revision will be next.

It might also be fun to incorporate music into this unit or lesson and for that there are two suggestions: Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and Cheryl Crow's "Change Will Do You Good."



Common Core Standards 9-10/11-12, Writing Standard 5:


(5) Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, reviewing, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a purpose and audience.

21st Century Skill(s):


Life and Career Skills: Adapt to Change

·          Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities



Additional Instructional Context

This lesson is a part of a short, but larger unit where students read and analyze the story Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens to learn about how to confront change in the future. The objectives for each of the other lessons are listed below. The ETP is Lesson #4.

Lesson #1: Students will be able to categorize different responses to the change described in the book by taking notes while they read.

Lesson #2: Students will be able to identify personal reaction to change by creating a compare/contrast chart outlining the four different types of responses and analyze the metaphors in the book Who Stole My Cheese? for Teens by discussing their own “cheese” and “maze” with a peer.

Lesson #3: Students will be able to conclude what the main idea in the story, Who Stole My Cheese? for Teens , is by reading “A Discussion” and then discussing as a class and demonstrate understanding of “the writing on the wall” by creating new versions of the phrases.

Lesson #4 (ETP - 2 days): Students will be able to draft a narrative about change by using the PLAN Strategy (a new technique).

Lesson #5: Students will be able to edit and revise their own or a peer’s draft by labeling required components and comparing them to the criteria on the rubric.


PLAN Strategy (PowerPoint)

Adventure Change Lesson Plan (document)

Assignment Overview (document)

PLAN Think Sheet (document)

PLAN Think Sheet Sample (document)

Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens by Spencer Johnson (book)

Chart paper and markers (optional)

LCD Projector and Document Camera

Bibliographic or other resources you used in creating this curriculum:

Ellis, Edwin S.. "The Plan Writing Strategy." Calhoun County Schools. Masterminds Publishing, LLC, 2001. Web. 10 Jul 2012. .

Johnson, Spencer. Change 101: Who Moved My Cheese?. 1999. Video. Youtube.com. Web. 10 Jul 2012. .

Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2002. Print.