Passion Works: A Story of Flying
Passion Works
The Film The Studio Get Involved Virtual Studio Learn Video
Links· Activities ·Teachers Resource Guide

English Language Arts

  1. Read the entire selection, “A Story of Flying” by Deni Naffziger.Write a reaction to the selection.
  2. Review one or more of the sections of the Passion Works: A Story of Flying DVDwhere poetry or prose take center stage. React to or evaluate the writing(s).
    1. 00:05:33 – 00:06:40 • A friend has a new baby that isdisabled and Deni Naffzing composes the selection “A Story of Flying”
    2. 00:12:00 – 00:12:55 • Harry Grimm listens as a speechsynthesizer reads his poem “The One I Would Like to Marry.”
    3. 00:24:50 – 00:24:40 • After attending a poetry workshopat Hocking College, David Dewey creates a poem for his girlfriend.
    4. 00:41:10 – 00:42:30 • Alexis Reinhart loves Smokey Robinsonand writing about him.
  3. Write poetry or prose on one or more of the topics below related to themesfrom the DVD.


Older Students

Younger Students

  • Art and Emotion
  • Freedom: The Disabled vs. the Non-disabled Citizen’s Perspective.
  • Freedom: A Personal Perspective
  • Giving Wings to the Disabled
  • My Passion, ______
  • Imagination and Freedom
  • Imagine _______
  • Being the Parent of a Disabled Child
  • Destination, _______
  • What I Feel When I See/Hear/See Art I Like
  • How Can a Disabled Person Have Freedom?
  • What Freedom Means to Me
  • What Could I Do to Help the Disabled?
  • What Could I Do to Help a Disabled Person?
  • The Thing I Most Enjoy Doing, _____
  • My Story of Flying
  • The One I Would Wish to Mary
  • I Want to Visit, _____


  1. Add passion to writing. Example: Challenge students to be passionate in theirarguments to convince their audiences about their points of view in persuasivewriting activities.
  2. Explain the documentary maker’s point of view in Passion Works:A Story of Flying.
  3. Summarize the main idea of the documentary Passion Works: A Story ofFlying.
  4. Write a critical review of the documentary Passion Works: A Story ofFlying.


  1. When teaching about scientists, focus on the scientists’ passions fortheir discoveries, theories, or creations.
  2. Research the facts about one particular kind of disability: its characteristics,incidence rate, prognosis, etc.
    1. Disabilities Overview
    2. OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence)
    3. Low Incidence Disabilities
    4. See also the Disability Information Resources* and the Ohio DisabilityResources* Links.
  3. Learn about genetics and inherited disabilities.
    1. Genetic Studies
    1. Gene Therapy and Disability Rights
  1. Study the brain – its structure, function, and possible relationshipsto disability.
    1. Understanding Brain Function in Dyslexia
    2. Brain Structure Shrinks with Multiple Sclerosis
    3. Neurobiological Basis of Learning Disabilities: An Overview
    4. A summary of Ann Streissguth's study to measure differences in brain structurecaused by prenatal alcohol exposure
    5. Downs Syndrome Research Center
    6. The preceding list represents only a small amount of the literature on thistopic that can be found on the Internet.
  2. Study assistive technology – inventions and specialized toolsfor special needs.
    1. Freedom Machines Lesson Plan: Technology Transforming Lives
    2. Engineering Students’ Invention Helps Disabled Children
    3. Invention Dimension Thelist below is a partial list of inventor the site’s search engine returnedfrom the keyword “Disabled.”
      • Yoshiyuki Sankai, Hybrid Assistive Limb-3
      • Linn-Mar High School, Assistive Robotic Device
      • Germantown Academy, Braille-to-Voice Assistive Device
      • Dean Kamen, IBOT Wheelchair
      • Daniel DiLorenzo, Prosthetics
    1. Center for Applied Special Technology
    2. List of Types of Assistive Technology
    3. What is Assistive Technology
    4. Student Invention Aids Man
    5. See also the Disability Awareness* and Ohio Disability Resources*Links.

  1. Identify the applications of simple machines in wheelchairs or other assistivetechnology devices.
    1. Simple Machines (DownloadablePDF Lesson Plan.) Goal:Students will understand how simple machine and complex machines assist peoplewho are disabled.

    Social Studies

    1. When teaching about historical figures, focus on their passions for theircauses.
    2. Identify the connections between government policies and the economy of thedisabled poor.
    3. Create a Time Line of major events from the history of the rights of thedisabled.
    4. Research the history of the struggle for rights of the disabled in the UnitedStates
      1. A Brief History of Disability Rights Legislation in the United States
      2. The Disability History Project
      3. The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement Project
      4.  Museum of disAbility History Society Wing
    5. Explore one or more of the subcultures associated with the disabled community.For example, explore the Deaf Culture.
      1. Deaf Culture NETAC (Northeast Technical Assistance Center) Teacher Tipsheet
      2. Deaf Culture
      3. Sound and Fury > Deaf Culture
      4. Everything You've Wanted to Know About Deaf Culture (And Then Some)
    6. Debate the economic issue of the cost of daily life services for the disabled(Medicaid, housing subsidies, food subsidies) underwritten by taxpayers vs. thesudden loss of services before economic independence is achieved. (PassionWorks: A Story of Flying – 00:32:45 to 00:34:30)
      1. Office of Economic Impact & Diversity
      2. U.S. Social Security Online Publications
      1. Food Stamp Special Rules for the Elderly or Disabled
      2. Ohio’s Medicaid Program
      3. Measuring the Economic Impact of State Medicaid Programs (DownloadablePDF file.)
      4. See also the Disability Awareness* Links.

    Family & Consumer Sciences

    1. Hold a Passion Works Day
      1. Define passion.
      2. Discuss the passions of the people in the Passion Works DVD.
      3. Ask the students to share information about the things about which they arepassionate.
      4. Ask the students how people reach their dreams – realize their passions.Ask what role each of the following have in realizing a goal:
        • Dreaming
        • Planning
        • Persevering
        • Flexibility
        • Inspiration
        • Resourcefulness
        • Creativity
      1. Have students produce products based on their own passions which have someconnection with the Ohio Content Areas:
        • Fine Arts: Music, Dance, Drama, Art
        • English Language Arts
        • Mathematics
        • Science
        • Social Studies
        • Foreign Language
      1. Hold a “Passion Fair” where students can share a product of theirpassions for the arts, language, math, science, or the social sciences.
      2. See the following website for some ideas: “Don’t Just Do It,Do It With a Passion”
    1. Explore careers. See the Realizing Your Dreams and Ohio CareerResources Links*. Learn about and evaluate careers related to:
      1. Fine Arts
      2. Care of the disabled: physical, mental, emotional, enrichment
      3. Invention of equipment or adaptation of technology to enhance human life
    2. Develop and carry out a service-learning project that allows students tosupport the disabled.
      1. National Service-Learning Clearinghouse
      2. Community Service and Service Learning in Ohio
      3. Work & Family Studies Performance Measure: Community/School Partnerships:Service Learning (Downloadabledocument file.)
      4. Charity Navigator
      5. Volunteerism, Community Service, and Service-Learning by Ohio 4-H'ers inGrades 4-12
    3. Have an adult disabled person come to the classroom to talk about his orher disability and daily life. See the list of Ohio’s County Boards ofMRDD
    4. Patty Mitchell, the director of Passion Works Studio at the time of filming,relates a story told to her by one of her college students. The student explainedthat he now realizes that the disabled boy he bullied when they were youngeris more like him than he is different. He feels very badly about how he behaved.(Passion Works: A Story of Flying DVD – 00:07:20 to 00:08:05)Ask your students to share their feelings about this incident and how they wouldreact (or could react) if a bullying or teasing incident took place in theirpresence.
    5. Develop and carry out a plan to make disabled students feel more connectedto your school community – or to alleviate teasing or bullying if theyare problems in your school. Apply skills for resisting peer pressure and toresolve conflict in interpersonal and educational relationships. See the DisabilityAwareness and Teaching Tolerance* Links.


    Fine Arts > Drama

    1. When teaching about famous figures connected to drama, focus on their passionsfor their fields.
    2. Have students conduct interviews with others with whom they would normallynot interact.
    3. Have students conduct interviews in the real world about subject areas ofinterest to them.
      1. Ohio University School of Telecommunications
      1. Living History Project: Instructions for Interviewing
      2. How to Do Field Work l
    1. Video Producer Ed Radtke worked with the Passion Work studio artists. Reviewthat section of the video. (Passion Works: A Story of Flying DVD – 00:18:05to 00:24:30) Discuss the role of drama in video productions.

    2. Collaborate to create, script, and film a documentary based on student interests.
      1. Grade 5 – History Documentary Idea
      2.  Middle School  – Multimedia Music WebQuest Project
      3. Grade 6 – Documentary Film Making WebQuest
      4. Grades 7-12 – A project on Family Types for Family Classes (DownloadableMS Word file.)
      5. Video Taping Techniques from Ohio University School of Telecommunications

    Fine Arts > Art

    1. When teaching about famous figures connected to art, focus on their passionsfor their fields.
    2. Choose criteria and critique the artwork of one or more disabled artists.Have the students explain how form, subject matter and content contribute tothe meaning of the art.
      1. Passion Works Studio Wallpaper
      2. Art on Main Artists & Examples
      3. Blue Shoes Art Gallery
      4. Inner I Gallery Clickon an artist’s image to see examples of theirartwork
    3. Compare the artwork of a disabled artist to that of a famous artist who hasa similar style.
    4. Explore the art fields of the professional artists from the Passion WorksDVD: art teacher, painter, sculptor, jewelry maker, video producer, art teacher,and ceramist. See the Realizing Your Dreams and Ohio Career Resources Links.
    5. Wendy Minor, Passion Works Studio Resident Artist, said that she wished sheknew how Nancy mixed her colors – that all of her colors looked like candythat day. (Passion Works: A Story of Flying DVD – 00:39:45) Explorecolor.
    6. Artist Andrea Underhill, visiting artist and sculptor, worked with thePassion Works Studio artists to bring Bill Dooley’s passion for Greek Mythologyto life. (Passion Works: A Story of Flying DVD – 00:46:45) Exploreand use recycled products as art materials.