“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in
your future. You must trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” Steve Jobs
In 2005 STEVE JOBS gave the COMMENCEMENT speech at STANFORD University, where he spoke about three lessons he had learned in life. The first one was about CONNECTING the dots, the second lesson was about love and loss, and the third lesson was about death. But for today, we are going to look at the THEORY of connecting the dots in our life.
Spell: LESSONS DEATH LIFE
Who gave the commencement speech? STEVE JOBS
Where did Steve Jobs give the speech? STANFORD UNIVERSITY
What type of speech did Steve Jobs give? COMMENCEMENT
Give a synonym for the word commencement. BEGINNING / INAUGURATION / OPENING / START
What was the first lesson Steve Jobs spoke of? CONNECTING THE DOTS
Name one of the lessons Steve Jobs spoke of. CONNECTING THE DOTS / LOVE AND LOSS / DEATH
Who would you like to listen to giving a commencement speech?
The founder of APPLE, PIXAR, and a lesser-known company called NEXT; Steve Jobs, was also fired from Apple – only to later on make it one of the most SUCCESSFUL companies ever. Born to an unwed GRADUATE and adopted by a mom who did not make it to college and a dad who was a college DROPOUT, Steve Jobs was able to look back at his life and connect the dots. And if it wasn’t for one dot, he would never have been able to connect to the next dot.
Spell: LESSER COMPANY CONNECT
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Pixar, and _________. NEXT
Which company did Steve Jobs find was lesser known? NEXT
Name one of the companies Steve Jobs founded. APPLE / NEXT / PIXAR
Name a Pixar movie. CARS / TOY STORY / INSIDE OUT / MONSTERS INC / WALL E
Steve Jobs was born to an _______ graduate. UNWED
Who adopted Steve Jobs? A MOM WHO DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE AND A DAD WHO WAS A COLLEGE DROPOUT
This theory is founded on our belief that, somehow, we know where we are heading in life. It might not always feel like we have DIRECTION in life, but when we get to a certain point, we can look back and have an “A HA.” If I look at my own story, the dots have most definitely connected – right from the moment I decided to go to UNIVERSITY on a WHIM (a sudden idea or change of mind). Had I not gone to University, I would not have met my now husband. I would not have gone down to PORT ELIZABETH (a small coastal town in South Africa), where he studied for his HONOURS and master’s degrees. I would not have started VOLUNTEERING at a special needs center, and if those dots were not there, I don’t think I would be writing this lesson today.
Spell: SOMEHOW CERTAIN STUDIED
It might not feel like we have ________ in life. DIRECTION
What is the moment that we might have called? A-HA
Describe what you think an A-Ha moment might feel like.
What is the name of the small coastal town the writer went to? PORT ELIZABETH
Name a coastal town in your own country.
What did the writer do at the special needs center? VOLUNTEERING
Name one of the situations the writer mentions which is now considered a dot. UNIVERSITY ON A WHIM / MET HUSBAND / GONE TO PORT ELIZABETH / VOLUNTEERED AT A SPECIAL NEEDS CENTRE
What would the writer not be doing if it weren’t for all the dots? WRITING THIS LESSON
There are COUNTLESS stories like this out there, and I am quite sure that you could add to them yourself. But let’s hear about some of the great SCIENTISTS and minds of the world – they too were able to connect the dots in ways people thought were IMPOSSIBLE. They were INNOVATIVE and imaginative; they looked at seemingly unconnected concepts and made them connect in a way that changed how we think about these concepts.
Spell: STORIES THOUGHT UNCONNECTED
There are ______ stories like this out there. COUNTLESS
Who are we going to hear about? GREAT SCIENTISTS / MINDS
People thought their connections were _________. IMPOSSIBLE
Give a synonym for the word innovative. GROUNDBREAKING / STATE OF THE ART / INVENTIVE / PIONEERING / NEW / ADVANCED
They changed how we think about these ________. CONCEPTS What do you think is a modern innovative concept?
Let’s start with the famous ALBERT EINSTEIN. He dropped out of school, failed the exam to get into the POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE in ZURICH, and had a teacher who told him he would amount to nothing. But he went on to teach himself CALCULUS, was fascinated by PHYSICS, and even though he failed the entrance exam, he was still allowed to enroll in the Polytechnic Institute because of his impressive math skills. Had Einstein been pushed through TRADITIONAL schooling, would we have the theory of relativity today?
Spell: FAMOUS TEACHER IMPRESSIVE
Which famous scientist are we talking about? ALBERT EINSTEIN
What was the name of the institute where he failed the entrance exam? POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
Where is the Polytechnic Institute? ZURICH
In which country will you find Zurich? SWITZERLAND
What did Einstein teach himself? CALCULUS
What was Einstein fascinated by? PHYSICS
Why was Einstein allowed to enroll in the institute? HE ENROLLED BECAUSE OF HIS IMPRESSIVE MATHS SKILLS
Traditional schooling did not seem to help Einstein when he was at school; how could schools today better support learners who learn differently?
LEONARDO DA VINCI is another such incredible individual who defined innovation as connecting the unconnected. From da Vinci, we still today have the most ACCURATE drawings of human ANATOMY; the VITRUVIAN man is still considered one of the most accurate DEPICTIONS of human anatomy. But he is not just known for his precise drawing; he was also able to bring different PERSPECTIVES together – this alone created wonderful connections.
Spell: INCREDIBLE DRAWINGS TOGETHER
Who did we hear about now? LEONARDO DA VINCI
What is the name of the accurate human anatomy drawing by da Vinci? THE VITRUVIAN MAN
How did da Vinci define innovation? CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED
Name another famous art piece by da Vinci. THE MONA LISA / THE LAST SUPPER / ADORATION OF THE MAGI / MARY MAGDALENE / FLORA
Name one thing da Vinci is well known for that was mentioned in the text. ACCURATE ANATOMY DRAWINGS / BRINGING TOGETHER DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
What was da Vinci able to bring together? DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
Thinking about more modern-day people, RICHARD BRANSON has also always been able to connect the dots. For Branson, it wasn’t about creating new, but rather about using what you have and connecting those FRAGMENTS to create something. Innovation is again at the heart of connecting the dots and TRUSTING yourself to do that.
Who are we talking about now? RICHARD BRANSON
What did Richard Branson believe? USING WHAT YOU HAVE TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW
Which word used in the text means pieces or bits? FRAGMENTS
Who should you trust? YOURSELF
But connecting the dots is not just about being innovative; it’s not just about developing theories of relativity; it is also about SELF-REFLECTION. Life often leads us to question ourselves about the meaning of life. It is often, while we are discovering the MYSTERIES of life, when we question what we are doing and why that we begin to start making sense of our life. So, trust yourself, and trust that your dots will somehow and somewhere connect.
Spell: DEVELOPING QUESTION DISCOVERING
Connecting the dots is also about ________. SELF REFLECTION
What does life often lead us to question? MEANING OF LIFE
It is often while we are discovering the _______ of life. MYSTERIES
When do we start making sense of life? WHEN WE QUESTION WHAT WE ARE DOING AND WHY
Connecting the dots has often helped people become creative and write creatively. Look around you and decide on two seemingly unconnected items, find a way to combine these items, and describe the connection.
Dot to Dot Activity on the next page