This I Believe Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

This lesson plan teaches students about the 1950s radio show by Edward R. Murrow, 'This I Believe.' Students will learn about the original program, listen to broadcasts, then write their own essay and record.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the purpose and impact of the radio broadcast series 'This I Believe' by Edward R. Murrow
  • identify key components and characteristics of essays in 'This I Believe'
  • publish and record an original essay in the style of 'This I Believe'


45 minutes for the core lesson, plus three to four class periods for writing and recording

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3

Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5

Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.5

Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.


  • Audio samples of the broadcast 'This I Believe' by Edward R Murrow
  • Technology to record and listen to student essays
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Key Vocabulary

  • Broadcast
  • Edward R. Murrow
  • WWII
  • Propaganda
  • Cold War
  • Soviet Union
  • CBS Radio Network


  • Start by sharing an early sample of 'This I Believe,' asking students to listen closely to the five-minute broadcast.
  • After the program is over, divide students into small groups to discuss:
    • What did you notice about the broadcast?
    • What was the topic?
    • What format did the broadcast use?
  • Share ideas as a whole class, then explain that this is an example of a radio series called 'This I Believe.'

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