Tasha Graff, a 9th grade English teacher at Morse High School in Bath, Maine, saw the Drive video excerpt, and decided to play it for her class. Then she asked her students to answer the question posed in the video and in an exercise on page 154 of the book.

Here’s a sample of their responses:

She changed the way kids feel about going to the doctors and dentist.

He made the NFL and gave money for children’s athletics throughout the USA.

His life was lived to the fullest and he had no regrets.

Her behind-the-scenes management made the shows the best Broadway has ever seen.

He saved lives every day with a scalpel.

She changed the world in subtle ways.

Cool, huh? Stay tuned. We — and some others — will be doing more with this sentence exercise throughout the month of March.

6 Responses to “9th graders ask themselves: “What’s my sentence?””

  1. Dan, The video, and these responses, are fantastically motivational in themselves.

    What’s interesting is that these two vital questions are relevant to organizations, as well as individuals? It’s the path to “the sentence” that enables us to make a step daily, and keep motivated.

    Thanks for helping to keep me motivated.

    Nancy Schwartz

  2. Hey Dan –

    Me again – loved how you handled the IATF interview with Tom Heck.

    When I was in 9th grade, I’m pretty sure my sentence would have been “He was a rock’n'roll legend who inspired a generation.” It’s inspiring that a 14 or 15 year old can be so confident.

    Now, it’s a few years later, and while I’m pretty sure the Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame is no longer in my future, I equally love the new sentence I carved out for myself: “He was a best-selling author, executive coach and speaker whose ideas brought clarity, productivity and confidence to millions.”

    ~Jonathan Flaks

  3. Chris says:

    Concerning Motivation: Is intrinsic motivation real? Are not all our actions self-serving? “Purpose” is my concern in relation to DRIVE. I feel autonomous behavior is a root cause for economic, political, educational, and especially social malaise.

  4. Jordana says:

    Finished the book last night. Woke up this morning thinking about “my sentence”. I probably thought about it while I was sleeping too! I’ve not yet settled on one but have a few to choose from.

  5. [...] 9th graders ask themselves: “What’s my sentence?” | Daniel Pink. [...]

  6. Monica says:

    This was a great activity to add to a project that I do with my 6th grade gifted students. I lead them on an investigation of their personality traits (MBTI), multiple intelligences, possible career choices, and now, along with writing their personal narratives, creating their own sentence.
    Thanks to your ideas, their final project will be tweaked just a little this year. After all of their research, they decide on a profession and demonstrate how they will make a difference based on their career interests and personal attributes. (We do this via dioramas that go on display at our annual gifted conference. My favorite was the scene of the blind man driving a sports car. This particular student now wants to be an engineer/designer so he can do just that, design cars for the visually impaired!)
    By adding their own sentences, I believe that this year’s display will add another dimension to an already amazing project.

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