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This unit can be as long or short as you desire.   The following is the timeline we used.  Many activities can be deleted, new ones could be added, and the the amount of time spent on each step may vary from class to class and teacher to teacher.  

Preliminary Activities:  

The reading and discussing of King Arthur served as our springboard into introducing the concept of "What Makes the Good Life." 

Timeline:  2 weeks 

  • Students will read "The Epic Hero: King Arthur" in World Mythology by Donna Rosenberg and answer discussion questions about the selection.
  • Students will watch Excalibur.
  • Students will identify and analyze components of "the good life" based on the King Arthur reading selection and the movie Excalibur.  (handout)
  • Students will complete graphic organizers depicting how King Arthur envisioned "the good life," what he did to make it a reality for himself, and what obstacles he encountered and post them in the classroom. 

Investigative Activities:  

The following activities were guided activities that led the students to begin thinking about "What Makes the Good Life."

Timeline:  4 weeks

  • Students will complete graphic organizers depicting how they envision "the good life," what they plan to do to make it a reality for themselves, and what obstacles they anticipate encountering.  
  • Using their own graphic organizers, students will make "Camelot" posters of their own visions of what makes "the good life"; the posters will include both words and pictures. (rubric)
  • Students will examine Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Alderfer's Hierarchy of Motivational Needs and determine how their posters meet the various needs according to Maslow and/or Alderfer.
  • Students will present their posters to their classmates. (guidelines)
  • Students will complete the following online personality tests: Kingdomality Personal Preference Profile, Career Interest Checklist, and Merkler Style Preference Inventory (Kingdomality and Career Checklist handout and Merkler handout)
  • Students will present the results of their three online questionnaires to their classmates, explaining the following: their Medieval occupation and the accompanying personality characteristics, the positive and negative traits of that personality; the Career Interests from the short checklist  and 5 careers from that list; the Career Interest results of the Merkler Inventory and 10 careers from that list; how the results of the three do or do not agree with each other; and how the results of the three assessments do or do not match with the students' self-assessment of personality, style, and career plans.
  • Students will discover what's important to them and plan how to achieve their goals.
  • Students will establish personal priorities.
  • Students will view the film Erin Brockovich as a modern-day application of someone trying to achieve the "good life."  
  • Students will determine Erin Brockovich's priorities and discuss their responses to choices she made, applying these priorities and choices to their own lives. (handout)
  • Students  will investigate a career that corresponds to the results of their online questionnaires.. They will learn about characteristics and skills, physical demands, work setting, wages/salary, outlook, preparation/training/education, job opportunities, and other related jobs.  

Culminating Activity ("on their own" investigations):  

Having done the preliminary activities with King Arthur and a variety of guided activities to get them thinking about and investigating "What Makes the Good Life," students are now ready to begin their open-ended investigations on their own.

Timeline:  4 weeks

  • Students will work in groups of 2 or 3, using their posters and online test results, to create "a good life" description, which represents how they want to live. (guidelines)
  • Student groups will determine the cost of living of the "good life" description they create and apply each student's earlier career findings to that "good life," assessing whether their career choice can support their "good life." (websites for finances)
  •  Students will propose steps to achieving that "good life," such as, budgeting, saving, investing, moonlighting, prioritizing, and other financial options.
  • Students will present their findings and proposals to achieving "the good life" through multimedia presentations (visual, tactile, and auditory components). (The Good Life Grading, PowerPoint Instructions, The Good Life PowerPoint Rubric Student Overview, PowerPoint Teacher Rubric) 
  • Students will evaluate the participation of their group members.

Follow-Up Activities:  

To make this unit even more applicable to them, students may do some or all of the following activities to get them headed in the direction of their "good lives."

Timeline:  1-2 weeks

  • Students will create a resume and write a cover letter for their chosen career.  Ideally, they would find a specific job opportunity and actually send their resumes and cover letters to them. (use Writer's Inc. and School to Work books, or other appropriate materials)
  • Students will read "Another Check Mark on the List," by John Goddard,  which is found in Chicken Soup for the Soul as a model of someone who has set goals for himself.  The students will use this to create their own "life lists" of goals.  This, along with a questionnaire about their goals and reflections on themselves, will be kept by the teacher and mailed to them in ten years.



Page created by Julie Muehlhausen and Kimberly Wood.  Last updated June 13,  2001