MTV Lessons- Hickman

Think-Puzzle-Explore: College  (pg. 71-77)

For this lesson I plan to ask students, what do you think you know about college? What puzzles you about college? And how can we explore answers to our questions. This lesson allows students to connect to prior knowledge including allowing us to become aware of the microconceptions students have about this topic. I appreciate the Importance of language in this lesson. Our prospective student audience varies drastically as far as how much students think they might know, so it’s important not to make anyone feel like they don’t know enough.

  1. Set up: Each student will begin class with post-it notes and a pen on their desk. There will be a graph on the board in the front of the room split into two sections labeled “think” and “puzzle”.
  2. Ask: I will ask students, what do you think you know about college? Students will jot down their thoughts on at least two post-it notes but will be encouraged to write as many as they would like within two minutes. During the two minutes students will walk up to the board and post their notes under the “think” column.
  3. Ask: Next I will ask students, what puzzles you about college? What questions do you have. Again, students will jot down their ideas on at least two post-it notes in two minutes. Notes can then be attached at the front of the room under “puzzle”.
  4. Share the thinking: After students complete the “what do you think you know” and “what puzzles you” questions and have posted their thoughts on the board, I will ask for two volunteers. One student volunteer with go through the “think” side and place post-it notes with the same theme in groups. Another student volunteer with place the post-it notes in the “puzzle” side in groups with similar themes as well. While the two students are grouping the post-it notes, I will share with students this Youtube video about common misconceptions.

This video will allow students to think about misconceptions in a fun and entertaining way which will hopefully allow them to not feel self conscious about what they know or don’t know. Once the volunteers have grouped the two categories, I will go through and read aloud what students think they know about college and what confuses them about college.

5. Ask: Finally, I will ask “How can we explore these puzzles?” What are the steps we can take to find answers to our questions? Who should we ask? I will encourage students to follow trusted sites about college on their social media accounts such as,


I will lead this conversation into the beginning of our topic which would cover college readiness and Miami University information. We can also revisit this question at the end of the presentation for those who still have puzzles they’re thinking of and what their next steps should be.

I could also use these supporting articles to address additional myths about college.


Tug-of-War: Traditional vs. Non-Traditional College Options  (pg. 199-206)

I would use this lesson to encourage students to talk about the traditional college route compared to a non-traditional route. Many students may feel strongly about one side or the other, taking a stance too quickly and rushing to defend it without pausing to understand alternative perspectives. The tug-of-war lesson will allow students to think deeply on how important or unimportant pulls will be.

  1. Set up: Students will be split up into groups of 4. Each group will be given a small dry erase board and a dry erase marker as well as a pack of post-it notes. I will ask that one student in the group draw a line on the board from one end to the other. On one end the student will write “traditional college route” and on the other, “non-traditional college route”. I will give students 2 minutes to discuss among themselves what they each think these two routes mean. When the 2 minutes is up, I will ask each group to share what they think traditional and nontraditional routes mean. Each group can have varying answers, however this should help each group to have a more specific foundation to continue the activity.
  2. Consider the “tugs”: Since there is really no right or wrong answer, I will ask the students to next jot down on post-it notes, reasons why students may choose one option or the other. They will do this as individuals for 2 minutes coming up with at least three reasons.
  3. Place the “tugs”: Once students have come up with their reasons, they will spend the next 5 minutes as a group discussing what they have each written down and where they should be placed on the line.
  4. Ask what if? What about? Questions: After students have placed their ideas and talked about their reasoning I will ask questions regarding different scenarios. How would a student’s opinions differ if they recently had a baby? If they just returned from deployment? If their parents were paying for college for them? I would encourage students to look through different lenses.
  5. Share the thinking: To wrap up the activity I will encourage groups to share what they wrote on their post-it notes and where they placed them. Each group can contribute if they had different reasoning.


After participating in the tug-of-war activity, I will show this Youtube video which gives some insight into the multitude of options after graduation.



Assessment- I will be using these MTV lessons during short visits in high school classrooms. While it is not typical that I would be in the same classroom for multiple days in a row, it will be important to gather feedback from teachers and students. The day following my visit to the classroom, I will follow up with the teacher to ask for feedback regarding the lesson. I will ask if there was anything that could have been changed or done differently to improve the lesson. This feedback will allow me to make adjustments for future lessons.


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  8. DrAnn says:

    Lauren, You’ve really made these MTV strategies come alive for such a unique setting and purpose. I think they will make your presentation even more engaging for these future college students, don’t you?

    The videos and links are fantastic and provide such good information. I am curious as to why you selected the 8 myths in science to show? How will you connect it to the MTV strategy and to their future college experience.

    Thank you for providing the students with the opportunity to differentiate between college and other careers. Seems like we are in a period where the push is for ALL students to attend college while there are so many other careers, not needing college, that are just as rewarding and fulfilling. Having the students look through “different lenses” is sheet perfection for the TUG MTV strategy.

  9. irwinea says:

    Hi Lauren,

    What a great way to get the young adults thinking about college and exploring their questions and myths! The way you explained allowed me to know step by step what you planned to do and I think I could carry out this lesson based upon your explanation! Detailed and precise!
    How will you assess what students gained from the lesson? Maybe what individual students have taken away?

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