The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Learning to Succeed"
Learning to Succeed
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Skills for Success

Read the Story: 10 minutes
As a group, read “Learning to Succeed” by Marlo Scott on p. 13. Ask for volunteers to take turns reading aloud.

Discussion: 10 minutes
Ask teens to look back at the story and star all the parts where Marlo demonstrates a skill that helps him be successful in the workplace (e.g., he adapts to laboring in the hot sun, adjusts to different editors, learns to focus, smiles and chats with customers to keep them from getting mad, anticipates what his boss needs, doesn’t complain, keeps confidentiality). Explain that job skills include self-control, good communication, and resilience. Point out that these “soft skills” are strengths and qualities that help in any job and outside of work too, and that we keep building these skills our whole life.

Then, facilitate a brief discussion by asking the following questions: “Of all Marlo’s job skills, which ones do you have? Which ones would you most like to develop? Why?”

Drawing or Writing Activity: 20 minutes
Explain to the group that now that they’ve read the story, they’re going to do an activity where they illustrate the importance of having job skills like Marlo’s.

Ask each group member to choose a part of the story that they starred. Once all group members have selected a part, hand out drawing paper and markers/colored pencils. Have group members draw a line down the middle of their papers.

Explain that on the left side, they are going to either draw a picture of Marlo showing off the job skill they starred or describe it in their own words. Then, on the right side of the paper, they are going to explain how using this skill helped Marlo on the job. For example, at Kmart, Marlo reads his customers’ moods. That keeps them engaged in a long checkout line.

As the group works, move around the room offering support and encouragement. To close the activity, ask for volunteers to share their drawings and summaries.
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