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Walt Disney, the animator, entertainer, and philanthropist, stated, "If you can dream it, you can do it." 1 Walt encountered many setbacks, but he never stopped believing in himself and his great ideas. Despite his humble beginnings and bankruptcies, he kept on going with his vision of tomorrow. His legacy includes hundreds of movies and several theme parks which entertain children and adults worldwide. Walt was a visionary and a self-made entrepreneur.
This quote is an inspiration for my business and marketing students. If they have a great idea, they should do something with it. Creativeness is required to stand out among the crowd. Marketing is everywhere, whether the teenager is purchasing a new pair of jeans at the mall or listening to a commercial on the radio. My students need to realize that when they are on an interview for a job they are marketing themselves at the interview. A future employer needs to see the confidence that the individual has in order to be certain that he or she has a good worker who can increase sales in the business.
Teenagers need to feel confident in their abilities and accomplishments. They do not know how or where they fit in at home or at school. This in-between time— when the student is neither a child nor quite yet an adult—is confusing. We, as teachers, must motivate and prepare our students for the next step in life. Our students need our guidance as important decisions are made, like which classes to take or how to obtain a first job, in order for full potential in high school to be achieved. This is a time to cultivate interests towards setting a career path. After high school and/or college, perhaps he may want to open up his business and work for himself. As guides, we need to help him discover his dreams and vision for the future.
This curriculum unit will provide students with an understanding of what makes up a biography, how a job can turn into a career, what an entrepreneur is, and how to interview entrepreneurs in order to write their biography. This will be a meaningful and memorable experience for the teens as they begin to create their own life story as they develop their career. This could be that pivotal moment when teens discover what they want to do with their lives by setting achievable goals.
Background and Demographics
Newark High School
Newark High School encompasses students in grades 9-12 from rural and urban areas of Newark and Wilmington. We are one of three high schools in the Christina School District. According to the State of Delaware's school profile's web site, our school has about 1,500 students. Our enrollment numbers have been decreasing over the past few years due to more specialty schools opening in the county. Students may choose to attend a school that specializes in the performing arts, math and science, technology, or the military. During the 2009-2010 school year, there were 49.5% White, 35.7% African American, 9.7% Hispanic, 5% Asian American, and 0.1% American Indian students. Other student characteristics are: 43.4% are low income, 8.6% are special education students, and 3.4% are English Language Learners. Most of the classes in school have approximately 26 to 30 students.
I teach Business, Finance, and Marketing Essentials and Marketing Communications II to freshmen through seniors with various learning levels. My classroom consists of twenty five student computers, two whiteboards, and a mounted ceiling projector (connected to my computer). Most of what I teach is project-based and hands-on. This makes learning and applying the materials easier and livelier. Students will remember the key concepts since they are using the vocabulary words, making a connection, and presenting projects before taking tests. Many of the projects that are provided test their creativity. By learning about biography and entrepreneurship this will inspire my students to create their own life story and career pathway. My students will be using the computers to research and develop creative presentations to the class.
The Importance of Biography
Biography is important for high school students to learn about since it will provide an awareness of the life stories of others. In turn, this will encourage my students to see themselves as having stories in which they can shape their purposes. Learning about others will help define, develop, and create stories. Biography can be described as revealing a person by finding out what is inside, not just want is seen on the surface. Discovering a person's life story will help inspire my students to create their pathway.
Speaking about biography in class will set the stage for self-reflection. Looking at the past will help my students decide what steps they need to take in order to be successful in their lives. How one defines success is different for each individual. I encourage my students and support them in their decision to obtain a higher education, go into the military, enroll in training for a trade or acquire a job right after school. I explain to my students that they need to be able to stand on their own two feet and not have to rely on their parents or guardians to support them financially. My students must do something to achieve their purpose and goals.
According to Dictionary.com's web site a biography is: "1. a written account of another person's life. 2. an account in biographical form of an organization, society, theater, animal, etc." 2 When the word is broken down into two sections, this will help with further comprehension. The word is taken from the Greek language, according to the aforementioned web site. Bio means life. Life is a group of events that occur over time. I will relate bio to the word biology meaning the study of life and life organisms, as many of my students have taken or will be taking this course in high school. Graphia is an account or record. One is writing this information for others to read or listen to in order to reflect on this particular person.
I will include the following descriptions to assist in defining biography: theme, purpose/goals, connection to oneself, curiosities, discovery, facts, and point of view. A sense of biography will result if explained properly to my students.
Theme: There should be a theme or a pattern that one sees throughout a life while uncovering the person's biography. Has the person had to deal with many hardships or did everything always go her way?
Purpose/Goals: Biography shows a path that someone's life has taken over time. Students will be able to see that others have set goals for themselves. One life can inspire someone else. Walt Disney felt that it was important to entertain people. He had a perfect vision of an amusement park where the young and old could come together to enjoy rides. Walt wanted people to feel like they were in another land. There was an ultimate plan in mind. Walt was not going to stop until he reached this goal of bringing families together.
Connection to Oneself: How does a biographer reflect and see oneself in the person? Similar situations may connect the biographer with the person that they are writing about. Perhaps the biographer may have wished that they had the mind or resources to be able to do the things that this person has done in his life.
Curiosities: The author should want to explore and investigate the person's life. If the biographer is not curious, then the piece will be uninteresting to the audience. Individuals are inquisitive by nature. If you look on the rack of magazines at the supermarket, you will see that People, National Enquirer, OK! Magazine, and others reveal the truth and sometimes untruth of famous people's lives. These tabloid, human interest, or celebrity gossip magazines are very popular. Traffic on their web sites has picked up tremendously over the years. According to BlogSimplified.com, People ranked eleventh in the Top 100 United States print circulated consumer magazines for 2009. 3 This involves over 3.8 million subscribers. At over 15.5 million, there are many more online users than subscribers. Why are people buying these magazines? Plain and simple: People are curious. They want the intimate details of what is happening in other people's lives. This may make the reader feel as if she is friends with these celebrities or a part of her life. It can also provide an escape or distraction for the reader from her "ordinary" life.
Discovery: This will provide an insight into the mysteries of the person. Diving into the person's life will reveal the vital material for the biography.
Facts: The biographer needs to stick with facts and not opinions. Facts cannot be changed. An issued state or federal document is provided for birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, and driver's licenses. Bank loans or accounts show correct names of individuals involved in the business, the business's name, addresses, and amounts of money owed or available. Names, dates, and locations on these types of documents are accurate.
Point of View: Some biographers focus on one time period or a specific event (what happened to a soldier stationed in Europe during World War II) while others may look at the person's professional career (how she got started, grew her business, and what the future looks like). What is the point of view of the biographer? The relationship that one has with the person plays a vital part. If a person is a friend of or related to the source, he may have a biased point of view. If I was writing about my grandmother, I will not want her to be viewed as an angry and mean person, unless I believed that this was true. I adored the woman who worked so many years in New York City and opened her home to my family and me during each visit. I will prove my decision based on accounts of visiting her and telling stories that will declare this as being true. The biographer should have empathy in understanding the person.
Obtaining information, finding out what to use it for, and discovering how to use it are essential to form a biography. A biography can be written at any time in the person's life, it is not only once the person is elderly or has passed away. I find reading obituaries to be very captivating where the public gets a glimpse into a person's life. It is fascinating to see how families want others to see their loved ones. Some obituaries are short and to the point, while others have pictures, graphics, and explain a longer story. A gravestone also tells a short biography by its etchings. Does this person want to be remembered for her birth date, death date, organizations that she belonged to, her occupation, or simply by her name?
Many pieces are interwoven together to form a biography. The history will appear once the person pries deeper and deeper and information is revealed. Biography is multi-layered. It involves creating, building, and inventing the portrait of a person.
Jobs Can Turn Into a Career
In the past, many of my students have informed me that they want to start their own business so that they can be their own boss. I advise them to work for someone first and learn about a business to see if it would be a good fit for them, to learn about the daily needs of a business, and how to manage employees prior to them starting on a new venture. Most people who start their own business do so to set themselves up for the long term. For instance, if a person opened up a restaurant, he would want the place to be opened long-term. There is so much money, time, and effort put into the business in the beginning years that it would be horrific to see the business close. He needs the money not just to keep the restaurant going, but also to support his family and home. Being an entrepreneur is a big career move that should not be taken lightly.
An entrepreneur is "an individual who accepts financial risks and undertakes new financial ventures. The word derives from the French "entre" (to enter) and "prendre" (to take), and in a general sense applies to any person starting a new project or trying a new opportunity." 4 Entrepreneurs need to know or have a good product that will satisfy a selected target market. A target market is a group of selected people that a product is marketed towards in hopes that they will purchase the product.
Abercrombie and Fitch, Co. (A&F) is a very popular brand whose target market consists of 18 through 22 year old males and females. The focus is on providing trendy clothing and fragrances that are appealing to this age range. Many of my high school students have worn A&F clothing or Hollister, Co. clothing which is owned by A&F. The entrepreneurs, David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch, who began this upscale sporting goods company in 1892, would be surprised to see the drastic change the company has gone through. Over time, the company made significant changes in leadership roles and its desire for change to appeal to a different market. Looking at a popular product that students are interested in is a great way to plan a discussion around the biography of the entrepreneurs who started the company. This will spark interest in the topic.
My students will be able to discover the qualities that will help entrepreneurs become successful. Some of these qualities are determination, struggle, motivation, and persistence. It is certainly not an easy path, but one that can be empowering. Entrepreneurs are focused on the product that is being produced and the consumer that they have in mind. It is about showing the customer that this product is better than someone else's or is a new creation. Entrepreneurs do not have to be inventors of new products, but can be. They are self-motivators with a can-do attitude. They must be a good leader, trainer, and communicator of the expectations for employees. They must also uphold the mission statement which makes the purpose of the business clear to the employees and customers.
Entrepreneurs must have a vision of the future and be able to maintain good relationships. They need to think about the long term progress of the product by keeping up with trends. Realizing the need for growth begins with new challenges. A more exciting web site or a Facebook advertisement may make the product more marketable by getting the word out. Networking is a key element in business. According to Merriam-Webster, networking is, "the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business." 5 It allows entrepreneurs to acquire and build new relationships by spreading the word on their product. Word of mouth can go a long way as it is a free way of marketing an idea and if an individual likes the product that person becomes an unpaid spokesperson. While attending conferences, entrepreneurs may meet others from additional markets for their products. They may also have a source that can make the product for less, allowing the entrepreneurs to make a larger profit.
By learning about entrepreneurs and their biographies, my students will be able to generate ideas for their own businesses. My students will see that owning a business is a lot of work but the benefits can be very rewarding. The product provided to customers will make opening a business worthwhile.
I believe that my students may have some background knowledge regarding the difference between a job and a career however, they may still be confused between the two just as the average person tends to be.
I found the best definition for a job at AmosWEB which is: "Specific employment activities associated with a production process that are usually undertaken by a single worker." 6 For example, someone might have the job of serving food, teaching economics or repairing cars. The word "job" is the primary designation applied to a worker when hired by an employer. A job creates a person's biography as it shows growth over a given time period. Usually one job leads to another one with greater responsibilities.
A job can also be described as performing a task for a period of time. We commonly see a job as a beginning point. A task is performed to earn either an hourly or a salaried wage. A job could turn in to a career. A cashier at a fast food restaurant may take on more responsibilities and show a genuine interest in learning more about the company. She may climb up the ladder by being a cook, head cook, assistant manager, manager, and perhaps open her own franchise one day. In this case, her job as cashier was a starting point in her career as an owner of a franchise. Her early interest in the fast food industry at sixteen led her to be an owner at age forty-five. She learned about the operations by the various jobs that she held and saved up enough money to be able to run a restaurant on her own. Her motivation and drive to perform her best at each position, providing good customer service, made for her a relationship-builder and a leader in her field.
Dictionary.com describes a career as "1. an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer. 2. a person's progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking." 7 A career involves a series of jobs that are usually related. There should be a progression towards a goal, whether it is a partnership in a law firm, the president of a company, or principal of a school. Most career-oriented workers are motivated and are production-driven.
A career is long-term and usually something that an individual is passionate about, considering that she has worked so hard to gain the trust and confidence of others. As time has gone by there should be an increase in wages, bonuses, vacation-time, pension, stock options, and other benefits. A career makes up one's professional biography, as it describes a story in sequential order by describing the growth in one's profession, how someone achieved a higher position, and someone's own enrichment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 40% of students were working in 1980. Today, 80% of students are working 20-30 hours a week. 8 Most likely the jobs that the students have today are temporary. They probably will not be working for the same employer in five years. The working student is gaining the knowledge of how it feels to work, gaining experience for that next job, and is given a chance to fulfill a duty. This provides an opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes at a restaurant or how important it is to have the shelves stocked at the local supermarket.
Responsibility is the key to maintaining a job. Employees must be on time for a job. They must contact their employer if they are going to be late or if they cannot make it to work due to illness. A job can provide a chance to interact with the public by providing customer service. Many positions have students working directly with customers, either on the phone or at a fast food restaurant. They must act appropriately and be pleasant. An unsatisfied customer may mean a loss of future business which will certainly not please a boss.
Working students are able to learn time management. These workers need to figure out a balanced schedule that suits both the employer and school. The working students may have to miss out on playing a sport or cut back on their involvement with school activities due to work conflicts.
Young people learn about money management and opportunity cost when they earn money. Sacrifices must be made if they cannot afford everything that they want. They need to determine which item will provide them with the most satisfaction. Working students may want to save or use their money for a car, car insurance, or gas, while others may want to spend money on entertainment, cell phone, food, and fashion. Then, there are those who have to work to save money for college or to help out the family with the monthly bills.
Receiving a good education while in high school is the key factor in determining the next step. If high school students want to work and can manage a job at the same time, then they may do so. However, once grades start slipping or they cannot stay awake during the day, something needs to go which will be the job. In the long run, education will help them earn more money and further career choices.
Interviewing to Gain Knowledge
My students will be interviewing local entrepreneurs. Interviewing is where two or more people speak about a topic to gain additional information. In the case of biography, the biographer is trying to gain knowledge of the person's life by asking questions and allowing the person to tell stories about her background. The conversation may trigger memories. The interviewer should be prepared with some questions that he wants to ask but also should not be limited to those questions. Open-ended questions are good to use since they set up a story rather than a one-word answer. For example, when interviewing an entrepreneur, asking, "Tell me about how you got the idea about selling your product." may lead into a story instead of a yes or no answer. These questions should be used as a guide on the journey to exploring the interviewee.
An interviewer should have some general background knowledge on the entrepreneur located from print and online sources. Reviewing the business's web site or going physically to the business may give the biographer a broader picture of discovering the person and business. Speaking to friends or family members is helpful to gain knowledge as a way of revealing the true person. This will make more sense of those guiding questions and for the interviewer to understand where the person's point of view.
It is easier to find out about a person if he has written down information in a journal or diary as time passes. The accuracy of the facts of the stories may diminish as time passes if stories are not written down.
Treat the information that is gathered through oral histories as guidance, not as the ultimate source, because memories often fadeand facts get confused with other facts. Sometimes, however, the information that is obtained through oral interviews exists nowhere else and must be taken at face value. Of particular value are the stories, anecdotes, and family traditions, songs, and especially information associated with pictures, documents, and other records. 9
Importance of Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers help my students understand the unit visually. These are great tools for all types of learners, especially those who are visual learners. I am a visual learner. I like to see and touch products. I remember history, people, and places if I see them. It makes the items real for me and then I can relate to them. Students will remember more information over time if they can do something with it. They have many classes to juggle during the school day. Retention can be difficult. Graphic organizers make it easier to look over notes before a quiz or a test to remember the information on the unit. Making activities hands-on keeps my students active and engaged in learning. During this unit, my students will make their own projects using visual aids, such as word splashes on a famous entrepreneur. They will remember what they researched and will have the graphic organizer to use during their presentations.
Engaging my students in a Think-Pair-Share will help my students play an active role in the class. This strategy will activate prior knowledge of the subject. I will suggest a topic or come up with a question. Individually, the students "think" by writing down their thoughts and ideas on what I presented. After students have written down the information, they "pair" up with a partner or two and share their ideas, each adding to what they individually had generated. Then, I bring all of the students back together by "sharing" all of the ideas with the class. I can correct or clarify anything that is unclear.
This strategy is great as it allows for my students to brainstorm and cooperate with others. It will bring out many more ideas. The stage will be set for what my students will be studying in this unit. The information is not just given to them by me. My students will remember the information if it is written down. They can refer back to the paper prior to a quiz or test.
My students and I find word mapping or concept mapping an easy pictorial organizer. This helps to pull out what is most important in a text and is great for jotting down notes while brainstorming. I will demonstrate with the topic or question placed in the middle, then ideas can be branched off from there. There will be branches off of the subheadings as well. My students may find it easier to draw their ideas or make pictures. They can add to their word map when there is a class discussion. This will be used by finding out what my students know about biography. The word "biography" will start in the middle of the page and other ideas will branch out from there.
A word splash is a visual tool that enhances the vocabulary terms used in a unit. My students generate words by reading information and then can write and draw these associated terms on a poster or using Paint or Microsoft Word on the computer. They can demonstrate artistry and mastery of the subject as they design their projects. This can be used to introduce a unit by having students predict what the unit will be about.
For my students to succeed, I provide a template which is similar to an outline. A template is a generic model or pattern that is provided as a guide for my students to follow. My students are given a clear and concise picture of what the expectations are for the unit. This will give them a better idea to what needs to be placed in the project. I will provide a PowerPoint template of what each slide will have on it. My students will have to complete the information based on their interview with a local entrepreneur. This will ensure consistency in all of my students' presentations.
A rubric should be provided prior to a presentation or submission of a project. My students can see the guidelines and what each section is worth. Rubrics are clear judges of what each section is worth on the presentation. It should be clear for my students and easy for me to grade without bias. Rubrics can help my students judge their work prior to submitting the work in for a grade.
First, to start the biography unit, I will ask my students as a class to define what is a biography (definition and description of what will be included in a biography) on their individual pieces of paper in their notebooks. I will use a Think-Pair-Share technique. By using Think-Pair-Share, my students will come up with ideas on their own first, work with a partner to expand on those ideas, and lastly share with the entire class what the partners think about the topic. The collaboration with a partner will help generate additional ideas. Then explaining information to the entire group will indicate if my students really grasp the idea. I can add or correct information as a whole class. My students will use a word mapping technique as modeled on the board. Word mapping is a great graphic organizer. A graphic organizer allows for my students to visually arrange the information in a sequence.
Modeling a graphic organizer is very important so that my students know what to do and how to use it effectively and efficiently. I will write the word "biography" very big using one color marker, then I will switch to another color just to keep the focus on the one word. With the word "biography" in the middle, I will show them how to branch off with the suggestions. This is completed by adding a line off of the middle word. If there are subheadings then a line will be placed off of this word. I will ask for one suggestion to be placed on this map, just to get my class started. Students will write their word map on the word biography in their notes so that these may be referenced throughout the unit.
I will walk around the classroom to view what students are doing and prompt those that may need extra help. My students may choose their partner. If there happens to be an uneven amount of students in the room, students may have to work with three in a group. The partners will share and add to the biography word map.
I will then bring the whole class together for the sharing as a group part. I will ask for answers and write them on the board. I will encourage my students to add to what is already written down. It is important to hear the words and see the words in order to understand and to remember the significance of this subject.
Career Cards Activity
Prior to class, I will use two tables in Microsoft Word to type twelve careers on one table and twelve different careers on a second table. I will make a class set and cut these tables into 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" cards. These careers will range from lawyer to plumber to chef. I will be sure to include careers that will need higher education, a four year degree, and specialized training. In pairs, my students will be given these two tables of careers and are not to show what is on these career cards to each other. My students will be given three minutes for each round to describe the career on the cards. The giver will try her best to describe the career to the receiver. The giver cannot say any words that are in the career. For example, she cannot say, "The shortened word is a vet," if the answer is a veterinarian. For each correct answer, the giver can place a checkmark next to the career. Once the time is up, the receiver will give clues to what they have on the card. The same rules will apply. The team that achieves the most points will receive extra credit points on an upcoming test. A tie breaker may be needed, so I will have a few extra careers to determine the winner. The first team that achieves four additional careers will receive the points.
Afterwards, as a whole class, we can discuss the training or education required to get into this career. We can talk about what local colleges or training facilities individuals may go to get started down this pathway. We can discuss what classes that they may want to take next school year to set a foundation. This will be a valuable activity for my students to test their knowledge on the careers and to get them thinking about their own career plans.
On my projector, I will list forty popular, well-known entrepreneurs, such as Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Jay-Z, Dave Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, and Bill Gates. These individuals are motivated, successful business leaders. I will have students write down the top three choices of entrepreneurs that they will like to explore. I will assign random numbers to the students and ask him or her for one of his or her picks. Once a person is selected from the list, they cannot be selected again. This will assure that presentations will not repeat.
My students will be responsible for researching the entrepreneur using the computers in my classroom and writing down twenty five key words to describe the selected person's family and professional life. I want my students to find out what makes this person and/or the product unique. My students will market the entrepreneur by either using a word splash or using the web site www.wordle.net. It is up to my students to decide which graphic organizer they want to use. Important words may be emphasized using red or written in a larger font. They may draw what the person looks like or what products they sell.
My students may decide that they will rather be creative using the free web site www.wordle.net where they will type in the important words a few times to emphasize them. The significant words will become larger as they spring to life on the page. They may select different colors, different fonts, have words appear horizontal and vertical or only vertical on the page. Those students who chose to make a Wordle will use a color printer. Once printed, they can tape the paper to a poster and add any drawings to the masterpiece. My students may choose to cut out the poster in the shape of a chicken or in the shape of Kentucky if they selected Colonel Harland Sanders from Kentucky Fried Chicken. I will show my students an example of what I produced based on Walt Disney using Wordle first. I will tape this to a poster shaped like Mickey Mouse ears to add some finesse to the project. Once this is an established project, I can show previous years' students work to my students.
My students will present to the class the information that they found to be important about their entrepreneur. They will be able to use the poster as a guide during the presentation. A rubric will be provided to my students so that the expectation is clear on what will be graded. Points will be distributed for creativity, use of twenty five words, marketing the entrepreneur and the products, spelling and grammar check prior to presenting, eye contact with audience, and overall explanation. The class will benefit by learning of several entrepreneurs. It may interest my students to read biographies outside of class about others. I want my students to see the struggles that the people may have had to go through, personally and/or professionally, to become the successes that they turned out to be. I want to emphasize the importance of not giving up, asking for help from others when it is needed, and the importance of giving back to the community as we look at these inspirational entrepreneurs. Perhaps this will inspire my students to open their own businesses. A prior student of mine was influenced by a project that I used to implement in class where my students designed their own sneakers. After graduating from college, he opened up his own business designing logos and producing T-shirts for local businesses. One project inspired this gentleman to become an entrepreneur. This is what I hope to see with this unit.
Interviewing a Local Entrepreneur Activity
To wrap up the unit, my students will speak with entrepreneurs in our local community. My students will devise questions in class to ask on an interview to learn about this person and his or her own business. I will provide the time in class to work on the following activity.
During class, we will discuss how to set up a time and place to interview the person, obtaining background information ahead of time, and how to conduct the interview. We can write down suggested questions to ask. I can gear the students towards what will ultimately be placed in a PowerPoint for their presentation in class. Describe her childhood and teen years. Did any of her relatives own a business? What type of education or training did she receive? How did she come up with the business? Did she have to ask for loans from a bank or family members? Are there competitors in the business? How does she see her business in the future? Is she married? Does she have children? The focus when interviewing an entrepreneur should be on how she started and now operates her business. Networking, marketing, and advertising should also be discussed. Does she participate in any organizations? How does she get the word out on her products? How does she gain exposure in the marketplace? What marketing does she implement? Are advertisements in the newspaper or trade journals, on the radio or on billboards? Personal questions may come later, such as marriage, children, and favorite vacation spots.
Encouragement and demonstrating a sense of understanding during the interview will help my students collect more information during the interview that they can use during the biography. Their body language shows an interest in the entrepreneur. Eye contact and listening skills are important. The positioning of my students' body shows if there is interest in the interview. Leaning their body in and having their body facing forward shows interest in the interviewee. This is an important conversation that should not be missed. My students will be encouraged to jot down notes as they interview their entrepreneurs. They will need to listen carefully to what is said and not be afraid to ask the entrepreneur to repeat what was said during the interview.
I will type a letter to the entrepreneur explaining that this collected information will be used in a presentation to the class. My students will provide this letter prior to the interview and have it signed for approval. The presentation will be used to inspire the biographer and their classmates to learn about entrepreneurship. My students will be able to use entrepreneurs who operate a convenience or corner store, dry cleaner, restaurant, franchise, an Internet business, gas station or a car repair shop. This list is just to get them thinking about who they can interview. They may want to interview a relative who does not live in the community. If this is the case, I will allow them the flexibility to select their relative for this project. The relative can send me an e-mail if my students cannot deliver the explanation letter. This may give a new interest in the aunt's business.
I will provide a PowerPoint template for a guide to prepare my students for their presentations. This will provide consistency and will be easier for me to be non-biased. Otherwise, the students will struggle with how information should be arranged and will panic on how to fill up eighteen slides.
My students will receive a rubric prior to presenting so they know how they will be graded. This presentation will require the presenter to dress professionally. I will go through the requirements of men's attire which includes a button down shirt, tie or vest, dress pants, and dress shoes. Women's attire includes a dress shirt and skirt or dress pants or a dress and dress shoes. Points will be deducted from the presentation if proper attire is not worn. Additional points will be determined if the following criteria has been achieved: creativity in use of background, pictures, and slide transitions, fulfilling the eighteen slide requirement with the facts on their entrepreneur, spelling and grammar check prior to presenting, eye contact with audience, and overall explanation.
My students will see that owning a business involves communicating with employees, customers, and manufacturers. Being an entrepreneur is a long-term career choice that is made after having experienced other jobs. With hard work, anything is possible. I believe in my students. With my influence, I want my students to believe in their dreams of the future and be successful in their career choices.
Appendix-Implementing State Standards
Delaware's English Language Arts Content Standards:
Standard 1: Use written and oral English appropriate for various purposes and audiences.
Standard 2: Construct, examine, and extend the meaning of literary, informative, and technical texts through listening, reading, and viewing.
Standard 3: Access, organize, and evaluate information gained through listening, reading, and viewing.
Standard 4: Use literary knowledge accessed through print and visual media to connect self to society and culture.
Delaware's Business, Finance and Marketing Core Standards:
Career Development – Students will understand concepts, tools, and strategies used to explore, obtain, and develop in a business career.
Communication Skills – Students will understand the concepts, strategies, and systems used to obtain and convey ideas and information.
Customer Relations – Students will understand the techniques and strategies used to foster positive, ongoing relationships with customers.
Economics – Students will understand the economic principles and concepts fundamental to business operations.
Entrepreneurship – Students will understand the concepts, processes, and skills associated with identifying new ideas, opportunities, and methods and with creating or starting a new project or venture.
Marketing – Students will understand the tools, techniques, and systems that businesses use to create exchanges and satisfy organizational objectives.
Operations – Students will understand the processes and systems implemented to monitor, plan, and control the day-to-day activities required for continued business functioning.
Strategic Management – Students will understand tools, techniques, and systems that affect a business's ability to plan, control, and organize a department or organization.
By using this unit, Delaware's English Language Arts and Business, Finance, and Marketing standards are addressed. My students will be writing and presenting their projects to the class in order to gain interest in what responsibilities entrepreneurs have to their businesses. My students will be organizing and evaluating what important information should appear in their posters and PowerPoints. Having a business is about marketing the product as well as themselves. Customers appreciate a quality product and good service. If customers are not satisfied, they will complain to the owner or refuse to return. In today's marketplace, unsatisfied customers can find a similar product and will purchase somewhere else. While using the Internet and speaking to local entrepreneurs this will help to decide if my students will want to own their business in the future.
Amosweb. http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=gls&c=dsp&k=job (accessed July 11, 2010). The definition of job is located on this page.
Blogsimplified.com. http://blogsimplified.com/2009/02/top-100-consumer-magazines-print-circulation-versus-online-visitors/ (accessed July 11, 2010). This information was useful in locating the number of subscribers and users online for People.
Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/biography (accessed July 10, 2010). The definition of biography is located on this page.
Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/career (accessed July 12, 2010). The definition of career is located on this page.
Evancarmichael.com. http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-Entrepreneurs/614/Walt-Disney-Quotes.html (accessed July 10, 2010). This site has quotes from Walt Disney.
Merriam-Webster.com. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/networking (accessed August 6, 2010). The definition of networking is located on this page.
Platt, Dr. Lyman D. Geneology.com. http://www.genealogy.com/2_oralhs.html (accessed July 11, 2010). Helpful article on the importance of oral histories.
Wisegeek.com. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-entrepreneur.htm (accessed July 10, 2010). The definition of entrepreneur is located on this page.
- http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-Entrepreneurs/614/Walt-Disney-Quotes.html (accessed July 10, 2010).
- http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/biography (accessed July 10, 2010).
- http://blogsimplified.com/2009/02/top-100-consumer-magazines-print-circulation-versus-online-visitors/ (accessed July 11, 2010).
- http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-entrepreneur.htm (accessed July 10, 2010).
- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/networking (accessed August 6, 2010).
- http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=gls&c=dsp&k=job (accessed July 11, 2010).
- http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/career (accessed July 12, 2010).
- http://www.helium.com/items/1732384-should-a-student-work-part-time-during-school (accessed July 13, 2010).
- http://www.genealogy.com/2_oralhs.html (accessed July 11, 2010).
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