Story of Self
Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

This lesson came at the end of a ten week course focused on extensive community building and empathy-related lessons. We started the class with a unit on Identity and returned to this theme by tying their identities to moral action. I wanted students to see that their stories of action or inaction could be used as tools to motivate, inspire and connect others who may not have had the opportunity to think about world events like they had in this course.

This lesson is a part of a three step organizing model that I experienced once and then adapted from the creators. It begins by learning how to tell your Story of Self, then a Story of Us and the Story of Now. I focused just on the Story of Self because when students learn to tell their experiences in a powerful way, they are often heard.

Students will tell their Story of Self to encourage moral choice making.
Video Camera
Connections (5 minutes) – What is your story?
This is an open response to the prompt. Students don’t interrupt one another or respond to each other. Silence is fine.

Story of Self (10 minutes) – Why are we telling the story of Self?
Introduce Story of Self organizer
Students will read and fill out portions where they are asked questions.
Before students start creating their own story, stop where it discusses challenges.

Identify Your Values (15 minutes)
Introduce Values-Emotions-Actions Organizer
This is helpful for students to identify what kinds of things are imbedded in stories. They can also identify which values or emotions they want to convey

Practice (15 minutes)
Introduce an external story so students can practice identifying the parts the story "Challenge-Choice-Outcome"
In this story, students will also identify the emotions and values the person sharing is trying to evoke and the action they want their listeners to take
You can also have a conversation about whether or not it was effective.

Create Your Story (10 minutes)
Return to the Story of Self Organizer
The last page is a template for how to get started.
Remind students of what worked or didn’t work in the story they heard
Also, students can decide on a story now and realize later its not the one they want to share but encourage them not to strike anything down just yet.
Have students write their stories out

Once students are done, tell them they will do a practice run. Review the feedback checklist with them. Ask them, “Which of our class agreements will be important to uphold during this process?” “Why are we doing this again?” Ensure that you give students time to really process this, because if you want to have students really share out, they need to feel confident that their stories will be respected.

Share the Story (time depends on student numbers- you can also do some small group presentations)
- Pair and Share with feedback
- 2 minutes - share their story
- 3 minutes for feedback
- Next student

Debrief (5 minutes)
What will you do to improve your work based on the feedback?

Revise (20 minutes)
Revise your story using the feedback you received

Final Presentation & Reflection
This again depends on how many students you have. I recorded the videos so that I could share them with students later.

Reflection – Why is important to tell your story in a compelling way? Which story motivated and inspired you to make moral choices? Why?