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Footsteps to Success! Role Models to Follow

Mae Jemison made history on the Endeavour spaceship—an apt name for her many accomplishments. What must students endeavor to succeed in their goals?

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Ask students if they ever wondered why someone wants to be an astronaut, teacher, president, or doctor? One way to discover the keys to success is to study the lives of accomplished people.
    2. Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman to orbit in space. How did she get to that historic moment in 1992? She had two majors in college, became a medical doctor, and joined the Peace Corps. Later, she was accepted for the NASA Astronaut Candidate training program. Of the 2000 people who applied to the program, only 15 were selected.
    3. Students choose a role model and researches them. Note the important steps that helped this person to gain her or his life goals, such as education, travel, volunteerism, and work experience. Present the information in a poster to inspire classmates.
    4. Cut as many construction paper footsteps as you need to show the person’s notable accomplishments. Make the feet large enough to hold detailed information.
    5. Using Crayola Twistables® Crayons, students record information about their role model’s accomplishments inside each footprint. Decorate the borders. Letter the success model’s name and achievement on more construction paper cutouts.
    6. On a contrasting color of paper, glue the pieces in place so the footsteps walk towards that person’s most memorable feat. Students present their findings to the class. Compare and contrast the actions and events that led to success.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Explore factors that lead to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students extend their research into the early lives of their respective heroes and how experiences from their childhoods may have influenced the people they became. Research is summarized and formatted to present to classmates in the format of student's choice.

    Working in small groups, students discuss what goals they have for themselves. Prior to this meeting, students interview their parents about goal-setting and what their parents did to achieve their personal goals.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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