Thursday, May 31, 2012


Frank Warren: Half a million secrets #TED :

Video Summary:

"Secrets can take many forms -- they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful." Frank Warren, the founder of, shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards. He posits that, "Secrets can remind us of the countless human dramas, of frailty and heroism playing out silently in the lives of people all around us.”

Frank Warren is the creator of the PostSecret Project, a blog full of secrets anonymously shared via postcard.


Based on this material, I created a lesson plan for today's class. I wrote on the board the following words:


I asked the students to look for the definitions of the words above (both in Chinese and English), and I asked them to share with the whole class what they have found. I used this opportunity to add a few comments, throw questions that would make them think or guess what the discussion theme was about.
I asked them if they have secrets that they have been keeping to themselves. Secrets that they find difficult to share with their family and friends. These questions made my students smile and laugh. I told them that I also have my share of own pandora's box- now this made them chuckle and probably curious, as well.

Once the topic, SECRETS, was revealed. I showed/played a short video, and asked them to watch and listen carefully. See the web link to the video above.

The content of the video was meaningful as all of us, including our students, have secrets. And like what Frank said on the video, these secrets can be shocking, silly, and soulful.

I played the video the second time, and this time I paused on every secret that Frank shared. We looked at our own reactions, and we asked ourselves if we could do something that is totally out of the ordinary- sharing our secrets anonymously. And we did!

The secrets shared were not only about the mischievous things we did in the past (or intending to do), but they were also about things that students think fancy but never shared anyone.

Sharing our secrets- anonymously in  class!

Since this was a big class (50 students), I felt it was safe to do this activity. I would think twice if it was a small class.

I distributed stick-it-note pads  in class, and I asked students to get one pad and write on it THEIR secret. They were asked not to write their names or any clue that would give out their identity. As soon as they were finished writing, I asked them to fold it. I walked around carrying a small pouch where they drop their written secrets. At this stage, the students were excited and obviously, they were having fun. Before I read out their secrets, I dropped my own little secret in the bag, too.

As I read our secrets aloud, everyone was saying ,'oh', 'aha!', or simply asking, 'who on earth would that be?'. This is what I think made the activity fun.

In a nutshell, I believe that this was a successful activity- one where everybody had a blast, including myself!


sample of students' anonymous secrets will be published on this blog soon.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. hi, aiden,
    i just want to let you know i love your class! though some writing tasks are quite challenging for me, i still like the way you teach and inspire us :)
    the class on last friday we wrote our secrets on posts is really exciting! because i never share my secret in that way and i found that has an advantage to entertain ppl. lol
    some of them are truly funny while some are pretty sad...