Week Six of the 2020 Life Design Summer Institute focused on equipping students tools to tell their stories. This post provides a quick overview of our approach in helping students tell their stories and my 3 teaching takeaways.
This Week’s Lesson: Tell Your Stories
This week, we started to help students start to articulate their personal narratives. The lesson centered on students answering the following questions about each of their imagined lives:
- Why do you want to?
- How might you do it?
- What are your next step?
Patrick created this week’s lesson, which included readings from various disciplines, journey mapping, and opportunities for breakout room discussion.
3 Teaching Takeaways
Here are my three teaching takeaways from this week:
1. Warm-ups that are relevant to the lesson can be powerful
In Week Three, one of my takeaways was that playful warm-ups can transform class dynamics. This week I saw the power of a warm-up that directly tied into the lesson.
We adapted an activity selected by Patrick called ‘Wearable Dreams‘ from The Design Thinking Playbook. In my section, I asked students to choose a piece of clothing and tell a story about it. The stories were entertaining and got students into a storytelling mindset.
2. Sojourner Truth’s speech catalyzed meaningful discussions
Prior to this week’s class session, students read Soujourner Truth’s ‘Ain’t I A Woman?‘ speech. In our section, I asked students to choose a line from the speech that resonated with them and/or demonstrated connecting past experiences to a future vision.
We had meaningful intersectional discussions that were catalyzed by Sojourner Truth’s speech. On key takeaways was thinking through how to situate past or current hardships and challenges into their vision for the future.
3. Including the past in journey mapping
Customer journey maps are a tool used user experience design. They aim to simulate a customer’s journey using a certain product or service. For life design, we used adapted journey mapping to help students envision the next steps (about 2-5 years out) for each our their imagined lives.
In brainstorming with Hope, we had a joint epiphany about how we wanted to present journey mapping – we wanted to include the past. Students mapped out future journeys for each life and selected key past experiences that would be part of their story for each life.
This helped students see how they could select and frame past experiences in a way that aligned with the vision they had for each possible future.
This week was fueled by meaningful discussions and stories. It helped set the stage for students to start crafting their personal narratives, based on thoughtful reflection from the previous weeks. I am looking forward to seeing how students adapt these narratives for future opportunities.