MCHS teacher writes classroom curriculum to coincide with local’s book
When Lance Scranton read the stories in fellow teacher Craig Conrad's book "Unstoppable," he was impressed.
"I liked that the stories were about real life and were easy to connect yourself with," said the Moffat County English and physical education teacher. "Everybody knows the kind of people that are in Conrad's book."
Scranton had just finished his Bachelor of Science in curriculum and instruction when the book was close to being finished. He traveled with Conrad during some of his speaking engagements and liked what he witnessed.
"The lessons he was teaching and the stories he was telling were timeless," Scranton said. "I think being unstoppable can mean a lot of different things in people's lives."
Scranton offered his services to work with the book to take it into classrooms. He worked with Conrad to provide an opportunity for teachers to create a classroom setting similar to what Conrad had when he taught at Moffat County High School. As a woods teacher, Conrad would give a lesson every Friday to his students. Those lessons are what he used for his book.
"I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I knew that Craig wanted to expand on the book," he said. "So I sat down with him, and we started to talk about what a classroom curriculum would look like to go along with the book."
Nine months later, Scranton has finished a curriculum for each of the 59 stories in Conrad's book.
Scranton wrote a curriculum that he said encourages discussion and brings out the lessons of each story.
"It was a little overwhelming at first because I'd never written curriculum outside of my experience earning my master's degree," he said. "I had to take it pretty seriously and I had to plan my time wisely to get it finished."
Although the task was daunting at first, Scranton said the stories from the book helped him to keep working.
"I think my favorite is the chapter called 'Priceless,'" Scranton said. "It is about how we need to learn what in our life is priceless and that we shouldn't let people take those things away from us."
The lesson plans include options for writing prompts, vocabulary and classroom communication.
"I put all the lessons in a PowerPoint format because I know at least from my classroom experience, kids don't need another set of worksheets," he said. "I didn't want to make it another, 'Here's work, get it done' activity, I wanted to make it interactive."
Scranton said that because some of the stories are for an older audience he would suggest the curriculum be used for fifth-grade classes and above. But, it doesn't have to be restricted to a traditional classroom.
"I think home-school teachers could use it as well as parents," he said. "It's something that can be done at the beginning or end of class, and it's pretty easy because the stories are timeless and useful for many situations."
Conrad was excited and was already in contact with teachers and administrators who were interested in Scranton's DVD.
"I have teachers in several states already calling me, and the DVD has just been finished for a week," he said. "Lance has done something that could change classrooms all over."