LESSON 2: Being an Inspiration

Time Required: One 40-minute class period 

Materials: Being an Inspiration Worksheet 2


1. Ask students what it means to be an inspirational person. Discuss what inspiration means and how exactly someone can become an inspiration to others. Explain that to inspire someone means to fill someone with the urge or desire to do something, especially something worthwhile. Anyone can become an inspiration to others, and we have many role models to look at as examples.

2. Remind students that we can look for inspirational figures from all walks of life and among the famous and not so famous. We might know of people close to home who are heroic or inspirational in small ways: a food bank volunteer or a firefighter in your community who is a great role model. Perhaps the inspirational figure is someone more famous, such as a political figure or a sports star who supports a great cause. Chart the responses of inspirational figures.

3. Click here to view the "Speaking Out" video. When it's finished, ask students why they think Taylor decided to become an advocate for cancer awareness and cancer care. Why does she feel raising awareness is important? What does she hope to accomplish by being an advocate in her community?

4. Tell the class that there are many inspirational figures like Taylor in the cancer community. Many people have survived serious battles with cancer, and have afterward committed their lives to helping others. These survivors have shown courage, persistence, and optimism in their own struggle and also in trying to help others fight the disease.

5. Distribute Worksheet 2 and tell students that they will be watching a real-life story about a cancer survivor. After students have read and/or viewed the story, ask them for examples of things they found inspirational. Ask what challenges the survivor faced, how she overcame them, and how her story could be helpful to people living with cancer.

6. Lead students in a comparison of the cancer-survival stories to more famous stories of heroism or inspiration. Have students think of well-known heroes (real or fictional) and ask them to list those heroes’ inspirational qualities. While writing their essays on Worksheet 2, they will draw connections between inspirational figures of all kinds. Be sure to chart the responses of inspirational qualities as these will be used in their essays.

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