Wilma Unlimited

 Wilma Unlimited
How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman

lesson ideas
& activities

Wilma Unlimited You tube video
Lesson Idea: Video about Wilma

After reading this book, you can reinforce that Wilma was indeed a real person who overcame such great obstacles by showing this You Tube video of her life.

It's short (4 minutes) and simple--great for making this heroic story even more real for your students.

Lesson Idea: YOU are Unlimited -- Writing/Art Activity

I love the title of this book -- Wilma Unlimited-- and the message it contains. Students need to see themselves that way too. Unlimited!!!  For a little girl with polio to even think that she could win an Olympic Gold Medal in running would have seemed 'unrealistic' to most people. But she dreamed big and was determined to make her big dream come true.

What big dreams do your students have?  In this activity, encourage them to think BIG!  Would they like to be the President of the United States?  Break the world record of home runs in professional baseball?  Be the next big star on the Broadway stage?  

Time magazine coverActivity Steps:
(1) After you read this book, ask the students to come up with their big dream. Maybe give them some time to think about it first (ie: recess)
(2) Pass out copies of a blank Time magazine cover (get the large version here)
(3) Pass out the handout of interview questions 
(4) Have students draw themselves on the cover doing their 'big dream' and make the title be "[student name] Unlimited!" (ie..."Alex Unlimited!")  
(5) Have students answer the questionnaire in order to create the 'article' part of the magazine.
(6) Staple together to create their mini-magazine

Some students may not be familiar with Time magazine, so before starting this activity, you could talk to the class about how Time Magazine is a national publication that often features people who have accomplished something great (US presidents, CEOs, star athletes, etc...) In fact, if you do a Google images search for "Time Magazine covers", you will find examples to show. This could help reinforce that making it onto the cover of Time would definitely be recognition of their hard work in accomplishing their dream.

Note: Dissuade students from having their big dream be 'winning the lottery' or some other event of chance. Instead, inform them that their big dream needs to be an accomplishment, something that they worked hard to achieve. The point of this exercise is to reinforce to the students that, like Wilma, if they are determined and persevere, they can reach even their biggest of dreams.

(Dear Time Magazine: I hope it's okay that we are using your cover. I didn't know how to go about asking permission. Just think--it's introducing a whole new generation to your magazine!)

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