This podcast is a fairly long interview/discussion. You might want to break it up into smaller chunks. Additional time will be needed within the sequence of the lesson to allow students to research the problems in more detail. Given your unique situation, student backgrounds, and schedules this could take a few days or up to a week. You may want to support the research by using the "web quest” below to help students make efficient use of internet resources. There are so many places this lesson can develop. Use what makes sense for you and your students.
Next, in order to learn some new information for their own "This I Believe" essays about the ocean, students will listen to a podcast from Science Friday on the "State of the Oceans."
Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.
Tell a story about you: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events that have shaped your core values. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.
Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid statements of religious dogma, preaching, or editorializing.
For this project, we are also guided by the original This I Believe series and the to those who wrote essays in the 1950s. Their advice holds up well. Please consider it carefully in writing your piece.
The late Baseball Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr believed in what he called “doing good in order to deserve good.” The former Red Sox second baseman said he’d rather do things that help his teammates and his family succeed instead of simply benefiting himself. He passed away on November 13, 2017.
Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.
Although we are no longer accepting new essays on our website, we thought we would share these essay writing suggestions in case you wished to write an essay for your own benefit. Writing your own statement of personal belief can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. It can also be a wonderful thing to share with family, friends, and colleagues. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:
This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.
In the 1950s, radio broadcast pioneer Edward R. Murrow hosted a brief radio segment on which people read essays about their beliefs and lives. Fifty years later, the concept was reborn on National Public Radio and is now an ongoing national project that still produces radio segments, has a free podcast, and produces books. encourage people to use the power of their voice to speak from a personal context in a way can inspire, motivate, and resonate with others. In such cases, we can see that personal speeches can cross into civic contexts. Using personal narratives as a basis for advocacy and social change is not new, as stories have been used to move people to action in many historical situations. Personal testimony, witnesses of injustice, and people sharing their everyday experiences can have a powerful effect on the world. I have enjoyed having my students do This I Believe speeches, and even if this isnât a speech assignment in your class, it is a good way to practice your speaking and writing skills, and it can be fun and inspirational.
After students have been introduced to the format of the “This I Believe” essays, have them work in small groups to analyze the text (podcast) for words that helped set the mood or tone of the essays. The podcasts can be downloaded to your classroom I-pod to be played for the whole group. Use this to help the students record and discuss evidence of voice in the podcasts. You will also want to have available for students to fill out the second half of the graphic organizer.
Students will listen to two different podcasts from the National Public Radio program “This I believe.” The essays I have chosen are written by people who were driven to make an impact or do something extraordinary in the world. Both of these podcasts emphasize the idea that we--as individuals--can and have the responsibility to make a difference. After students have listened to the essays, they will be asked to consider how these “mentor texts” used voice to help the reader/listener feel the importance of the issue (mood) and understand their opinion (tone) and how they organized their ideas to engage and persuade the audience.