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Goal Setting

Teacher Guide by Patrick Healey

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Setting Goals Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Setting Goals Include:

Utilizing proper goal setting techniques will help students effectively hone in on interests and desires. Keeping yourself motivated to reach long term goals is a hurdle individuals must accomplish to reach their intended outcome. A dream is a goal without any action plan. Following the SMART goals format, students can develop their goals with an effective method.

Setting Goals Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

What is your SMART goal?


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When we ask students to think about their goals and dreams in life, many times you get general statements without a feasible plan to accomplish them. Reinforcing the specific characteristics in creating SMART goals will help students form an outline to achieve their goals.


SSpecific
MMeasurable
AAction
RRealistic
TTime

Goals should be specific. Eliminating vague desired outcomes will help focus the next steps. Goals should be measurable. How will you know when your goal is achieved? Action is the next aspect. What do you have to do in order to reach your goal. Realistic is the fourth part of a SMART goal. Is your goal doable? Finally, the last aspect is time. How much time will you need to achieve your goal.

After covering the different aspects of SMART goals, students can make a storyboard visualizing their goal. Provide the titles in each cell for students to know where to define and illustrate them.


Also check out the version of SMART goals for business.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual representation of your SMART goal in a storyboard.


  1. Open up the outline given to you by your teacher.
  2. Define each definition of the titles in the description box below each cell.
  3. Come up with a goal you have and create a visual representation in the S cell. Briefly describe it in the description box.
  4. Create a picture of how you will measure your goal in the M cell. Briefly describe it in the description box.
  5. Create a picture of the actions you’ll take to achieve your goal in the A cell. Briefly describe it in the description box.
  6. Create a picture of a realistic way you’ll achieve your goal in the R cell. Briefly describe it in the description box.
  7. Create a picture of the time it’ll take to achieve your goal in the T cell. Briefly describe it in the description box.
  8. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Short Term to Long Term Goals


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Goals can be categorized based on the time it takes to achieve them. Short term goal range from the present to one month. Mid range goals are achieved from over one month to a year and a long term goal is anything over a year. Creating a storyboard showing the progression of these goals might make reaching them seem more exciting, prompting students to take real life action.

Ask students to create visual representations of their different goals through Storyboard That. Usually short term goals are compounded and lead to long term outcomes. For example, a teacher’s goal to do well while student teaching is a prequel to a long term goal of landing a full time position. The attached storyboard shows this progress and models the learning objective; understanding the importance of the goal progression. Goal progression is important because it lowers the overwhelming stress of long term goals, while motivating the individual to continue to move forward.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Students will be making a visual of a short term goal, mid range goal, and a long term goal.


  1. Title the first cell with short term goal. Create a visual of your short term goal and describe it in the description box.
  2. Title the second cell with mid range goal. Create a visual of your mid range goal and describe it in the description box.
  3. Title the third cell with long term goal. Create a visual of your long term goal and describe it in the description box.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Plan of Action


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A long term goal may not be achieved for a year or longer. Although the end is far, action may be near. Ask students to reflect back to the previous activity. Have them remember the idea of progression and read them this scenario.

Jim wants to run his own company. He wants to run a small IT company in the town he grew up it. His long term goal is to be able to support his family while creating jobs and opportunities for others. Currently Jim is in high school. He needs help with his action plan. In the next three cells, depict what Jim should do next for him to be able to achieve his goal.

After they are read this scenario, have the students create an additional three cells to the one provided. Long term goals may seem overwhelming and stressful. Action plans can relieve that stress and turn something scary into something achievable. This helps reinforce the learning object from the last activity.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Jim wants to run his own company. He wants to run a small IT company in the town he grew up it. His long term goal is to be able to support his family while creating jobs and opportunities for others. Currently Jim is in high school. He needs help with his action plan. In the next three cells, depict what Jim should do next for him to be able to achieve his goal.


  1. In the first blank cell, create a visual of Jim’s first action step to achieve his long term goal with a title and description.
  2. Create a visual of his second action step to achieve his long term goal with a title and description.
  3. Finally create a visual of Jim’s third action step to achieve his long term goal with a title and description.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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What You Can and Cannot Control


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When someone does not get what they set out to achieve, they may give up and get frustrated. We don’t want our students lowering confidence when trying to achieve a goal. There are many things out of the student's control. For example, students can not control what will be on their test. The path to a good grade is to pay attention in class, do their assignments, and study. When students do everything they can, they should be able to achieve a lot of their goals. This activity is going to ask students to create visuals of controllable and uncontrollable aspects of their goals. When students visualize what they can do, it’ll help them form motivation for an action plan.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual representation of controllable and uncontrollable aspects of your goals.


  1. After brainstorming three different personal goals, list them in the vertical titles in the storyboard given to you.
  2. Create three visuals of aspects you can not control and can control. Use the description box to briefly describe them.
  3. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Fears and Roadblocks


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Experiencing fear or anxiety when it comes to achieving a goal is natural. At times we need to take a risk while weighing the daunting consequences of failure. Preparing yourself as much as possible is a good way to relieve stress when it comes to tasks. Students may face anxiety when it comes to testing; a good way to reduce that stress is to study and review.

Have students create or recreate a long term or mid range goal then brainstorm an obstacle they may face in order to achieve that goal. An example could be getting a job. In order to get a job you need to go on an interview for it. This may be a high stress situation, especially for the inexperienced. By practicing interview questions with a more experienced person, someone can reduce the stress and anxiety associated with an interview.

A way you could modify this activity would be a think-pair-share. Have students fill in the first two cells (goal and obstacle), then switch stations or computers with their partner and have students offer advice to one another to achieve their goals. This will help with collaboration and critical thinking.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual representation of possible obstacles in your way while trying to achieve your goal, including ways to overcome them.


  1. After brainstorming either a short term, mid range, or long term goal, create a visual of it in the first cell including titles and a brief description.
  2. Next, create a picture of an obstacle you may face when working towards you goal, with a title and description.
  3. In your final cell, create a picture of how you can overcome that fear, roadblock, or obstacle. Title that cell and add a brief description.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Setting Goals

Whether they want to admit it or not, all of your students want to succeed in your classroom. Finding a career they enjoy and that supports them financially is a long term goal most students have. For some this may not be a goal, but merely a wish. The distinction is a wish is a desire with no plan of action to achieve it. In order to get that desirable job, they will need to complete other mid range and short term goals. This action plan is one of the steps in a SMART goal: creating a realistic way to achieve your goals turns a dream into a reality.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific and Measureable while having an Action plan with Realistic expectations in a Timeframe. All these components work together to achieve goals. When students know how they can reach their goals, they build intrinsic motivation. Short term goals build to mid range and eventually complete the long term outcome. Hopefully by the time they reach that long term goal, they have already had another big picture outcome in mind making the original long term goal a part of the new action plan. These activities touch upon that learning objective and will help build this mindset in your students.

Essential Questions for Goal Setting

  1. What is a SMART goal?
  2. What are the different types of goals?
  3. What is goal progression and why is it important?

Additional Goal Setting Lesson Plan Ideas

  1. SMART Scenario - read students a scenario of someone who wants to achieve something but needs help. Have the students create a SMART goals storyboard to help them achieve it.
  2. Difference between a wish and a goal - Have students make a compare and contrast storyboard the differences between a wish and a goal.
  3. Have student differentiate from a realistic vs. a unrealistic goals.

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