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Innovation in Teaching Competition - Beyond the Textbook

Creating a Small Business Plan

Lindsay Bowley
Creekland Middle School
Cherokee County Schools

Grade Level and Content

Eighth Grade
English Language Arts


In this English Language Arts (ELA) unit plan, students work in groups to create a small business idea. Throughout the unit, students develop a small business idea, interview small business owners in the community, strengthen their business plan based on ideas they gleaned from their interviews, and finally, pitch their ideas - using persuasive language and advertisements - to business owners in their community.

Standards Addressed

English Language Arts
ELA.8.L.1; ELA.8.L.3 (a); ELA.8.SL.4; ELA.8.SL.5; ELA.8.SL.6; ELA.8.SL.1, ELA.8.SL.2; ELA.8.SL.3; ELA.8.W.7; ELA.8.W.1 (a-e)

Available Materials

• Unit Overview with Standards
Business Plan Project
Business Plan Guide
Questions to Get to Know Business Owners
Questions To Ask Business Owners About Your Business
Identifying Pathos, Ethos, and Logos Graphic Organizer
Ad Analysis Graphic Organizer
Great Shake Evaluation Form
Student Interview Questions
Business Plan Rubric
Business Plan Pitch Evaluation
Group Reflection

Video of Unit

> Download this Video (To save right-click then select 'Save target as' or 'Save link as') 

About the Teacher

Lindsay Bowley is currently an 8th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Creekland Middle School in Canton, GA. Ms. Bowley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education from Kennesaw State University. She has a Masters of Arts in Middle Grades Language Arts from Piedmont College. She was the 2013-2014 Cherokee County Teacher of the Year. Her best piece of teaching advice is to stay out of the proverbial "teacher's lounge,” and don't participate in griping or complaining. Surround yourself with positive people. Negativity will breed more negativity, but positivity and passion are contagious!

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Disclaimer: The unit plans and materials on the Innovation in Teaching Competition website are aligned with Georgia’s standards through December 2014. English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards have been revised. The revised standards were approved by the State Board of Education on January 15, 2015. The revised ELA and Mathematics standards were renamed from the CCGPS to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

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