Reader. Leader. Boss.

Start your students’ Read to Lead experience with an engaging, hands-on project that helps them understand what it means to be the boss.

Read to Lead  was created with busy educators in mind, and the platform makes it easy to use both the gamified and project-based components. 

In the first introductory lesson, What It Takes to Be the Boss, students learn what it takes to be an effective leader. To find the activity, login to Read to Lead. From the homepage, click on “Kick Off” to access the What It Takes to Be the Boss classroom activity. We also included the link here!

This is a great way to start off any Read to Lead journey, regardless of grade level or skill mastery, because the lesson introduces the importance of effective leadership and asks what characteristics make a person a boss.

You’ll introduce the lesson to your students by asking them to provide examples of times in their lives when they’ve been leaders, even in small ways. Before letting the students work, you’ll want to further model the qualities of a boss by discussing the qualities listed on the Common Attributes of Bosses worksheet; this is important because they should understand that positive character traits like being agreeable don’t necessarily translate into being a good leader.

As you pass out the rubric and worksheets for students to write their own cover letters to apply for the leadership position you’ll mention in your intro, make sure  you clearly define expectations for students’ cover letters.

It may be helpful to budget time in this activity to allow students time to think about which two leadership qualities they have that will make them a strong fit for the job before they start writing.

If you’re doing this in a classroom, you can use the letter as an opportunity to reinforce hard skills that your students may be learning in their ELA classes. For example, if they are learning about dependent clauses, or adverbs, have them highlight at least one example of these in their letter. Out-of-classroom leaders can be in communication with teachers and ask their students to do the same thing.

The full activity packet (available here) includes a variety of great wrap-up activities to assess learning. If time permits, try to do all of them, but they could also make great questions/activities of the day to open your classroom and test retention.

What It Takes to Be the Boss is a great activity for a classroom early in the school year, as it allows you to collaborate with the students on the year-long project of being a good leader in the classroom and beyond.