The M.A.D Project

Welcome to the M.A.D- Make A Difference Project! This project is aimed at making the IMG_3781world an even better place! Here you will find all of the resources to get you started on your project to make a positive difference in the word! Please start by reading my blog: Innovating for Good in the Classroom which explains the history of our Make A Difference project, our school and students’ success stories and the seven simple steps for success (QUESTION-RESEARCH-IDEA-PLAN-ACTION-SHARE-REFLECT) to help you start innovating to make a positive difference in the world. For reference, you can view my students complete M.A.D journey: M.A.D Project 2015/16. Please note, these are simply my ideas and resources. Feel free to change or modify them to meet your needs!

M.A.D. Project Resources

The M.A.D Inquiry Model PDF. The M.A.D Certificate PDF. The M.A.D. Project Guidelines PDF and Google Doc. The M.A.D Project journal PDF. The M.A.D. Project outline/template PDF. The M.A.D project step by step lesson plan PDF and Google Slides. The SMART Notebook M.A.D lesson plan can be accessed Smart Teacher Exchange.

Thinking of starting a M.A.D Project of your own?

Let us know by filling out this form to have your class added to the “M.A.D Map”!


Please share your M.A.D stories with us! Email me at or leave a message in the “Leave a Reply” section below! With your story, please include your name, school, city and any photos, videos, links, etc. We’ll include your story on our new “Difference Makers” webpage. 

Get Started!!!

Think of the M.A.D project of Genius Hour with a twist. The challenge is to do something to Make A Difference. I’ve used stories such as Josh- Opening Doors and Hearts and Cuddles for Cancer to help my students understand that they can make a huge difference, they just need to start with an idea and put it into action! You may wish to start with a CLASS project, be creative and think outside the box. My students created Character Education Videos, such as tips for dealing with conflict and stress and steps to making a good decision. They shared them with our class and then with other kids throughout the world. THAT’S making a difference!

Once you feel your students understand the concept and the process, have them work on M.A.D projects of their own. For inspiration check out The M.A.D Project 2015/16  and the video below! We look forward to hearing your stories!

4 Responses to The M.A.D Project

  1. Lauren Smith says:

    We just completed a M.A.D project of our own. The students were inspired to to go the extra mile and take on challenges they otherwise would have resisted. They were so proud of all they were able to accomplish (and so was I). I’m so happy to hear about your students’ success and love that you are spreading the word. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Alyssa says:

    Dear Mr.C
    My friends and I have taken upon a task to go M.A.D. this summer. We aren’t doing much but as you said “You start with a slow paced and make your way up the mountain”. We decided to make posters to support Sick Kids Hospital, my friends and myself known how much they have help kids all over Canada. We decided this because as a kid a girl who is helping with this got very sick and wouldn’t have lived without Sick Kids Hospital. I’m truly so thankful towards this hospital, it has gave me a chance to meet such a great person.


  3. wendy powers says:

    My students wrote a grant to get funds to start an annual school sock hop. The first year they raised over $2500 and were able to buy over 300 dolls for the children of deployed soldiers where they can put their parents picture in the face of the doll. The next year my class wanted to carry on the tradition but choose to donate their earned money to Camp Corral to send 8 kids who had a parent die while serving overseas. It has been amazing!!!


  4. murphysmemos says:
    WOW! I love the inspiration here and I love that kids are DOING so many wonderful things to spread goodness and love around our planet! Here’s our contribution and story.
    Art for the Soul, Coloring Books
    In 2013, an international artist came to our school and painted a mural on one of the walls. Before it was finished, it reminded the journalism students of a coloring book page. The idea stayed with them for the next year. In 2014, the same students finally had an idea. They wanted to connect with artists and use their artwork to create a coloring book they could give to children who were spending time in healing facilities. The students believed that art can heal the soul and in turn help to heal the body and they wanted to share that belief with others.
    In the fall of 2014, the team of six, 8th grade girls began contacting artists and confirmed three to be a part of the project: children’s author and illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds (; Marc Evan, Maniac Pumpkin Carvers ( and Marc Evan Murals, Illustration, and Fine Art (; and Kelly Simpson Hagen of Kelly’s Art from the Soul (
    By November of 2014, the team had secured a $500 grant for their project, received a donation for printing the books from the company who would print the books, received donations from individual donors through their GoFundMe site, and received a donation of 1500 boxes of crayons to accompany their books. They also determined the recipients for 1500 planned books. Each artist would receive 100 books to donate to a children’s hospital of their choice in their hometown; 300 books would be donated to North County Forensic Health Services, a first-response local agency for children ages 3-17 who experience traumatic situations; 300 books would go to the children’s department at Palomar Hospital in their home town; some books would be sold at an art show to help raise funds for the project, books were available for pre-order and for sale after publishing to raise funds; and the rest of books would be donated to other local and national organizations serving children in healing facilities or as determined by the team should a request be made to them.
    By January of 2015, the girls had most of the artwork black-lined and ready for placement into the book. The final layout was complete and the girls began the “tech” part of the project that would connect them to the recipients. On each page of the coloring book, there are QR (quick response) codes that contain videos. The girls and each artist recorded “selfie-style” videos that answered the following three questions: Why do you create art? What gives you hope? What are your favorite things?
    By Spring Break of 2015, the videos were compiled, edited and stored online with qr codes connecting to each one. The qr codes were in place, the layout of the book was complete and sent to print. Following break, one thousand five hundred coloring books and one thousand five hundred boxes of crayons arrived on campus and the team began the process of tying boxes of crayons and books and packaging them up for delivery. A few weeks later the team took boxes to the district warehouse for shipping to the artists and the Boston Children’s Hospital. Summer snuck up on the team and the school year was done. The remaining deliveries would have to wait until Fall.
    2015-16, the new school year, began but the girls were now in high school and no longer together with me, their advisor. We set some dates to plan for the remaining deliveries. In the meantime, however, three of the girls were given a project assignment at their new school and immediately decided to continue the Art for the Soul project, book 2. Final deliveries were made and the remaining books have been earmarked for sale to raise funds for the second year’s funding and one last donation.
    While at the 2016 National CUE Conference, I learned that a very special “kid” has been spending a lot of time at the hospital with plans for more stays. It was agreed upon by the team that we would send the last large quantity of our first book to his hospital, in his name, as our final Volume 1 donation. We’ll update our site with the details.
    Here are a few pictures and videos of the process from beginning through deliveries, opening the books for the first time with the authors present via Skype, and a few other fun moments:
    For the current year’s book, we have a full printing donation from Lulu, and are still working to confirm one more artist.
    Our project website is
    Our GoFundMe site is
    We use the hashtag #AFTS2015 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
    My twitter handle is @calhbeygirl
    And you can reach me, Amy Murphy, with any questions about our project at
    There are so many incredible stories within this project that we’ll eventually write up to share with the world. One though, is that the nurses at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Oregon, were so moved by our project that they are currently creating their own coloring book with artwork from the children at the hospital. We wish them much love and success in continuing the vision!


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