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

Follow us on:
Share Youth Communication Follow Represent on Facebook Follow Represent on YouTube Follow Represent on Twitter
Follow Represent on Facebook Follow Represent on YouTube Follow Represent on Twitter
Teacher Lesson Return to "Building a Better Life"
Building a Better Life
horizontal rule
Life Tetris

Read the Story: 10 minutes

As a group, read “Building a Better Life” by Anonymous on p. 5. Go around the room, taking turns reading aloud. (Let group members pass if they want to.)

Discussion: 15 minutes

Ask the group to identify places where the author does things that help him create a self and a life that he wants (taking the PSAT; helping the girl who was hurt; doing his homework late at the library; playing basketball; not lying; treating Angel the bully with kindness; excelling in school; getting his working papers).

Now go back to those actions and mark which ones were not supported or encouraged by adults (the first five) and which ones were (the last three, by Marta Reyes). Ask them: What was the difference between right actions the author took despite the adults in his life and ones he took because his foster mother encouraged him? Which made it easier for the author to build on and why? Ask if anyone can share a time that a supportive adult helped them do something that made their life better.

Tetris Activity: 20 minutes

Distribute pieces of paper cut and colored like Tetris pieces.

Have them label each Tetris piece with something they think is important to their life. It could be a quality, an aspect of their life, a relationship, an achievement, anything they want. Then ask them to fit them together in a way that makes sense. For example, if they love swimming and want a job as a lifeguard, those two might go next to each other. Ask everyone to share their Tetris rows and for two of the pieces, name something or someone that helps that piece drop down into their lives.
horizontal rule
[Other Teacher Resources]