Be the Change

Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and other popular songs launch this expedition on leadership with a common refrain: “Let’s change the world and strive for peace.” After brainstorming answers to the guiding questions, students conduct a school survey to gather diverse opinions. Each student then chooses a changemaker to research and writes a speech, in the voice of his or her changemaker, that conveys his or her dreams, challenges, and accomplishments. After analyzing authors’ choice of powerful words in mentor texts, students focus on creating strong leads and an “action phrase,” a concise, motivational message from their leader to young leaders of today. For a final product, students present their speeches to members of the school community and create an illustrated book about their changemakers, including personal reflections on how students are becoming leaders in school, in their families, and in their communities.

Grade Level: 5

What is a leader?
What are the qualities of a good leader?

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