Family Resources on I have Control

Lesson Topic

Motivation and Aspirations

Essential Question

What motivates people to do well and be successful?

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I have Control – Darion

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed their verbal communication skills. In class students discussed the importance of being able to communicate effectively and learned that working collaboratively is often more important in career success than technical knowledge. Students practiced their verbal communication skills with a drawing exercise and discussed an article about successful workplace competencies

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features a youth named Darion who describes his experiences growing up in a marginalized community. Darion shares how he became motivated to make the most of his educational opportunities and earn a college scholarship. He also discusses how institutionalized racial inequality remains a problem in society

Conversation notes:
Even though Darion has been successful, he had to overcome challenges that many adolescents do not have to face. This lesson can frame discussions on what motivates an adolescent to achieve and/or the lack of equity for people who grow up in a marginalized group. Also, in the video we meet Darion as a high school student; he has now graduated from college and is pursuing graduate studies in film and media.

Catch up with Darion by listening to this episode of the DefiningUS podcast:

To learn more about improving the experiences of Black males in school visit the UCLA Black Male
Institute Center for Transforming Schools:

To learn more about antiracist research visit the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

How do you define intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? Do you do a good job of motivating yourself to reach goals? Why or why not (use examples)?

Describe how you are motivated differently now from when you were six or seven years old. Do you think you can motivate yourself to make ethical choices on your own? Why or why not?

Learning to overcome major challenges is part of the process of growing up, but not everyone has the same challenges to overcome. What could be done in our neighborhood or community to improve opportunities for all adolescents near your age? Why is this needed? Why would it work? Describe how our family or friends can improve this issue.

Where do you see inequality in your community? Describe the underlying causes and explain how people can solve this problem locally.

Using the internet and asking people in the community, research a group or organization that promotes social justice activity in your community. Become involved with the work of this organization. Create and present a presentation to encourage others to become involved with the work you are doing.

School to Home Resources on I have Control

Lesson Plan

Strive for Excellence

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Darion says, “I have the perspective that I have to work hard and strive for excellence”. What are some clues that Darion gives you that he really believes this to be true? What motivates you to strive for excellence?

Doing for Myself

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Darion’s mother says, “During that time, I think that’s when Darion really got the ideas that he talked about like ‘if I really want to make something of myself, I have to do it for myself’”. While obstacles and adversity can be very different for different people, everyone experiences difficulty and adversity. Describe a situation or event where you or someone you know overcame adversity. Why is it important to learn how to overcome adversity?

I Have Control

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Darion says, “I have control over what I do, what I know, where I go, who I associate myself with and you tell me I’m going to fail!”. Why do you think this mindset serves Darion well? Is this something you would agree with for yourself? Why or why not?

Changing Narrative

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Darion’s mother says, “It’s a narrative that needs to change”. What do you think the narrative is that she mentions? Give examples. What is a cultural narrative that you would like to see change? Why?

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