How do the stories and lesson plans work? Is there research behind this approach?

Learn how our content aligns with standards here.

Learn more about the research behind our approach here.


Read on for more:

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The written stories:

Real world "problem solving" (we think of it as joyful learning) that makes social and emotional learning feel natural, meaningful, and fun — while reinforcing math and literacy learning in a cross-disciplinary way!

Each video is paired with 3-4 stories about our new friend’s family, backstory, and work. Each of those stories has multiple word problems that tie to SEL, math, reading, and written and verbal communication goals you have!

You can easily find a person’s story set by typing their name in the search bar (if you see multiple stories with the same title, it is because they are written in a slightly different way for various math grade levels). We recommend starting with the person’s “I Am” story to get a big-picture overview of who they are, and then exploring their other stories to dive deeper into their lives.

Here we begin to challenge our assumptions, and we learn to further understand a new person’s unique perspective.

We all know it’s healthy to flex our empathy and curiosity muscles. Engaging with these real world situations makes it feel natural.

The best part?

Every story not only makes social and emotional learning real, relatable, and fun — these stories help students see the “why” behind the math and literacy they’re learning!

And story is such a powerful tool rooting back to so so so long ago in human history. It's such a great way to learn, engage, and immerse. And our stories are often called mini-ethnographies (a bunch of us studied sociology and anthropology in school) -- youth get the chance to immerse in new cultures and learn about new people in a really dynamic, whole way.


The lesson plans:

Creative ways to bring together social, emotional, and academic learning — in the classroom, at home, and in the community!

Each story ( remember, there are a few written stories for each video) comes with unique lesson ideas to help you engage your students, make an impact in their lives, and meet your academic goals.

  • Made with love and with educator guidance: We love adapting these resources based on classroom feedback.
  • Cross disciplinary: After learning about percentages at Shantanu’s stall, students can write essays about what building community means to them in their life. Pick your subject, and there’s a way to integrate it!
  • Take the learning beyond the classroom: Our lesson plans have all kinds of classroom, home, and community project ideas to bring classroom learnings to the dinner table and into local communities.

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