Who Moved My Cheese? Activities for Students

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

'Who Moved My Cheese' is an allegorical book related to different reactions to change, both successful and unsuccessful. Use these activities to help your middle or high school students digest the essential concepts in this book.

Who Moved My Cheese Activities

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson is considered by some to be a motivational or self-help book. It's often used to inspire people in the business world to adapt to change in healthy ways that improve productivity rather than stifle it. The lessons in this book can be applied to many areas of life and are also appropriate for middle and high school students. Use these activities to engage your students so they may internalize the key concepts and apply them to their own lives. Each activity has an independent component as well as an opportunity to engage with partners or teams.

Metaphorical Messages

  • Materials: list of Haw's motivational quotes, table chart with four themes of change, access to technology, slide presentation software, quote website list

In this activity, students will reflect on and respond to the motivational quotes Haw writes on the walls of the maze. They'll also find outside quotes to inspire them in their life journey. Haw's quotes can be divided into four themes of change:

  • accepting change
  • anticipating change
  • being aware of change
  • enjoying change

Begin this activity by partnering students and providing them with Haw's motivational quotes on separate slips of paper as well as a four-column table chart labeled with the four themes of change. Instruct students to read each quote aloud, discuss its meaning, and place it into the appropriate category. Consider combining partners into teams to check one another's work, discuss any differences, and make necessary changes.

Next, provide individual students with technology access and a few quote websites. (Be on the lookout for quote sites that contain few advertisements and make it easy to copy and paste both quotes and authors.) Have students create a brief slide presentation that includes at least one quote for each of the four change themes. They should select quotes that inspire them to refer to as they face change in the future. Encourage students to use one of the quotes as a desktop background on their laptops or print a quote to place in their room at home for inspiration. Provide a brief chunk of time for students to share their favorite quote with a partner, team, or the class.

Change Journals

  • Materials: notebook paper, writing utensils, character identification guide (optional, for added support)

In this activity, students will write journal entries from the perspective of Hem, Haw, Sniff, and Scurry, and students will determine which character they relate to the most.

Begin this activity by explaining that students will write a journal entry from each character's perspective about the character's experience searching for and finding cheese. For added support, provide students with a character guide that provides an overview of each of the characters. Then, have students write a brief journal entry for each character. Provide time for students to share their journal entries with partners or teams.

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