Students will identify their preconceptions about what makes people happy and how the research differs from their own preconceptions about happiness.


Students will be able to:

  1. Have a personalized go-to list of strategies when they are feeling uninspired
  2. Create a visual “road map” to identify the places, things, people, and ideas that inspire them


Large Post-its or poster paper and markers for group brainstorm; craft supplies, magazines, markers, etc for roadmaps, (optional) roadmap handout. Optional: use a program such as or


Time Activity Notes
5 min

Present the idea of an “inspiration roadmap” to students in one of the following ways:

  • Ask them to consider and respond in writing the question, “What is the purpose of a roadmap or GPS?” After eliciting their responses, make the connection between arriving at your physical destination via a roadmap/GPS and “arriving” at inspiration via the “Inspiration Roadmap” they will create today.
  • Ask students to visualize inspiration. Give them 1-2 minutes of silent time to close their eyes and visualize what inspiration looks like to them and then ask them to share out.
  • Link to previous lessons on the emotions of inspired and empowered and ask students to reflect and connect.
Optional: Create your own inspirational roadmap in advance if this is your first time doing this exercise or send a message to the educator inspired FB group for a curated example to use with permission.
15 min
Group Brainstorm

Post large sheets of paper around the room with the following questions written out (one question per paper):

  • What does inspiration mean to you?
  • When are you most inspired?
  • When are you least inspired?
  • Who inspires you?
  • What activities inspire you?
  • What places inspire you?
  1. Give students each a marker or writing utensil and divide students into groups so that an even (or close to even) number of students can be assigned to each paper at one time.
  2. Give students 2-3 minutes to write down their ideas on the first paper.
  3. Then, have students rotate to a different paper. (You can do this in a number of ways: students can travel in groups clockwise around the room, students can choose which paper to go to next, etc.)
  4. When students arrive at the second paper, they will have 2-3 minutes to either add new ideas to the brainstorm or to agree with or ask questions about any ideas already written down.
  5. Instruct students to make a common mark (such as a check mark or an asterisk) to indicate that they agree with an idea that has already been written.

Students should have a chance to spend time at every paper once.

Encourage specificity in student responses at this stage. It is more helpful if a student can write “the Grand Canyon” for a place that inspires him or her rather than “nature”. If a student starts with “nature”, for example, encourage him or her to branch off of that idea and be more specific. Offering this example to the class also may be helpful.
5 min
Planning your Roadmap
  • Give students 5 minutes to create a rough draft of their “Inspiration Roadmap”: a map they draw or create online which has pictures and words of ideas, objects, places, etc that they can use to inspire themselves.
  • They can and should use ideas from the group brainstorm to help them plan what they will add.

You can give students a roadmap handout for guidance on how to structure their roadmap if they need it or want it.

You can encourage students to be creative in planning their roadmaps. They can make it as similar to an actual roadmap as they like. They might want to include “detours” and “dead ends” or things that they know they should avoid as they are uninspirational.
30-35 min
Creating a Roadmap
  • Give students ample time to actually create their roadmap. Provide them with craft supplies, posters, markers, magazines, etc.

Criteria for Success/Formative Assessment

Final student roadmaps will serve as the formative assessment for this lesson.