Obstacles on the Road to Greatness

Biography Unit


What are obstacles?

When we think of the word "obstacle", we probably picture an obstacle course from PE class or from a televised sports event.

If we are going to understand obstacles in the context of the struggles and challenges a person faces on their "road to greatness", then we need to first look at an obstacle course and pay close attention to what the athletes do when they face obstacles.

As a class, View the "CrossFit" Games 2012 video. Share what you noticed.


How do you identify the obstacles an individual faced when you are reading a biography?

By viewing and discussing the video, we learned that athletes use strategies or modifications to overcome obstacles while staying on the course. They did not quit.

Our theory is: Individuals who face obstacles in life must use strategies or make modifications to overcome obstacles if they are to stay on the course (the road to greatness.)

Today, we want to look into history, and determine the most common types of obstacles people have overcome. When we watched the video, we had to view closely and really zoom in on the athletes as they ran the course. We need to do the same thing as we read biographies. We need to read closely and zoom in on the individual's life. We will need to make inferences as we consider the culture during that time period.

Model by thinking aloud as you read about CLARA BARTON using Pebble Go.

The username for Pebble Go is: region6 and the password is: read.

Click here for Pebble Go.

Remember to record your notes on the Padlet. Keep your post-it note brief. Record your name, your subject's name, and a keyword or phrase to describe the obstacle. If your subject faced more than one obstacle, create a note for each obstacle.



As you read through Pebble Go, record your notes on Padlet.

Logon for Pebble Go:

Username: region6

Password: read

List of Biographical Subjects

Mrs. Newton will have you count off from 1 to...

Whichever number you state, then look on this list to see who you will briefly research today!

1. Maurice Sendak

2. Jackie Robinson

3. Wilma Rudolph

4. Amelia Earhart

5. Bessie Coleman

6. Ernest Shackleton

7. Matthew Henson

8. Jacques Cousteau

9. Helen Keller

10. Hector Garcia

11. Booker T. Washington

12. Sojourner Truth

13. Jane Addams

14. Mary McLeod Bethune

15. William Penn

16. John Hancock

17. Marian Anderson


Grouping and Categorizing Obstacles

As a class, take a look at the notes posted on Padlet.

Can we sort them into groups of similar types of obstacles? (Each student who placed a note can move their notes around the padlet wall--you cannot move another person's notes)

What inferences do you make about obstacles when you look at these groupings?

Can we label the groups?

What aha! or conclusion did you arrive at?

How does this new knowledge of "Obstacles on the Road to Greatness" impact you personally? How does it inspire or motivate you?