Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success is an amazing teaching tool to help youngsters reach a healthy definition of success. The story does a great job of teaching John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. The main characters, Inch and Miles, are given a magical whistle to borrow to help them on their journey to understand the meaning of success.
The colorful characters that Inch and Miles encounter are unique. Each represents one block in the Pyramid of Success. (You can view the pyramid that is displayed on a teacher’s webpage in San Marcos, California.)
The book is a great resource for parents, teachers, coaches, and any person who works closely with children.
I use this book in one of my senior elective classes. Each day we read a section. After the reading, students respond to a writing prompt, reflecting on a theme or idea. The prompts ask students to draw on personal experiences and very often are the starting point for a classroom discussion.
Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success Introduction
As our heroes begin the quest to find the answer to Mr. Wooden’s question, what is success? Inch and Miles are given a special whistle that will be of great assistance on their journey to understanding success. Below are Mr. Wooden’s final words of advice to our heroes:

“You’ll meet special friends who are good teachers too.

Each one has a message especially for you.

To learn how to try 100 percent,

Just ask them for clues – you will be glad you went.

Then you’ll find my Pyramid of Success.

Each of its blocks helps bring out your best.

Listen and learn and do as they tell.

You’ll then see success clear as a bell.”

(page 7)

WRITING PROMPT: A Valuable Lesson – In life, many people have an influence on our development and our outlook. Explain a person who has had an important influence in teaching you an important lesson. Select the message, lesson, or words of wisdom that was imparted to you. In your answer, describe the:

  • Circumstances
  • Advice and
  • Person who provided the advice

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