Lesson Plan Guide: Wacky Scholarships

By Matt Andrews



2-2: Students develop awareness of their social system of support and constraints, and choose associations and behaviors that align with their values, goals and well-being.

3-3: Students take practical steps to transition to post-high school options.


  • Identify scholarships to help pay for college.
  • Identify internships and other opportunities for job training.


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.


  • C: B1.5 Use research and information resources to obtain career information
  • C: B1.6 Learn to use the Internet to access career planning information
  • C: C1.3 Identify personal preferences and interests influencing career choice and success


  • No special prior knowledge is necessary to complete this lesson, but it may be useful for instructors to be familiar with a few local scholarships and internships to provide examples that guide the students’ research.
  • Ask a college counselor or spend time researching scholarships on the Internet. Start with financial aid websites at local colleges, youth organizations, and the school counselor.


  • Access to the Internet for each student is required for this lesson.
  • “Wacky Scholarships” article from Student Paths


This lesson introduces financial planning for college in a lighthearted article on wacky scholarships. Most of the lesson requires students to conduct research on the Internet to identify scholarships and internships that are of interest to them.

Many students may be undecided or uncertain about future plans, so this lesson sparks interest in research on paying for college in the future, and also finding internships, on-the-job training, or volunteer opportunities to begin today. Students may not have a career goal, and this lesson requires them to temporarily make a decision.


Every student should identify at least one scholarship and internship that is of interest. Students may treat the scholarship as a distant goal to pursue, but the internship should be something every student could follow up on within a week and report back on their progress at a later time


Introduce scholarships and paying for college (10 minutes):

Distribute the article “Wacky Scholarships'' or access it at mystudentpath.com. Instruct students to read it quietly to themselves. Use the scholarships introduced in the article to begin a discussion about paying for college.

This discussion should include a general explanation about various funding organizations and qualifications of applicants. Introduce students to the multiple ways to pay for college.

Instructors need to recognize that many students have not thought much about going to college, let alone paying for college. The purpose of this discussion is to encourage further thinking about paying for college.

Research on the Internet to identify scholarships and internships (20-40 minutes):

Distribute the Activity Handout to students, and read the instructions aloud. The primary purpose of this activity is for students to identify future opportunities that are of interest to them. Students are likely to be at various stages of their planning process, adapt the lesson accordingly.

The first task focuses attention on finding ways to pay for college, and the second task encourages students to find an internship that they could start today.

Instructors will need to plan the research process to fit the schedule and structure of their own computer lab and access to online information.

Students may work in small groups, and some small groups may need to modify the task slightly to fit other goals in life, such as entering the military or entering the workforce.

Assess that students identified a scholarship and internship (5 minutes)

Before the end of the period, check in with students to make sure that everyone identifies at least one opportunity to explore further in the future on their own. Conclude the lesson with the message: The possibilities for paying for college and career internships are endless; the challenge is to persist in finding the ones that work for you.



Wacky Scholarships

Can you identify potential sources of funding to help support your college education?




What internships could help you prepare you for a successful career?




The two tasks below will help you organize research on college funding and internships. The most important part of both tasks is that YOU identify ways to financially support yourself in the future, whatever you plan to do after high school. Now is the time to learn something about possibilities for your life.




Task 1: Conduct research on the Internet to find interesting scholarships, grants, work programs, and other kinds of money that would help pay for college.




On a separate piece of paper/electronic document, record what you learn about these various scholarships.

• What is the name of the scholarship?


• What organization provides the money, and how much is available?


• Why does the organization provide the money?


• Who qualifies for the money?


• What must be done to apply for the money?


• When is the due date for applications?


• Would you be qualified for this scholarship?

There are many organizations that provide money to help support a college education. Some scholarships are awarded for accomplishments in academics, civics, innovation and the arts. Some scholarships target applicants with certain community, religious or ethnic affiliations.


The Rotary Club, 4H, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and other organizations in your community are likely to provide scholarships to youth. This task requires you to find money that will help you pay for what you want to do in life.



Task 2: Conduct similar Internet research to find interesting internships and other forms of on-the-job training.


For this task, you should identify specific opportunities for vocational training and ways to learn about careers that interest you. A fast-food chain may have a training program, law offices have aides, hospitals need volunteers, and teachers have assistants. The titles of these programs will vary by the organization, so find out about the ones that interest you.

Internships, job shadows and other opportunities are a great way for you to find out if a career path is right for you, but they go by a variety of names. Find at least two specific opportunities that you could start working on today to prepare you for a successful career in the future.



Find a Law Scholarship

Signet Classics Scholarship

Milton G. Wright Scholarship

Sussle Scholarship

Future of Banking Scholarship

About the Author

Matt Andrews