Goal Setting for Your Future--8th grade lessons

I had the opportunity to spend 3 days in the 8th grade classrooms.  Teachers had asked if I could talk to them about perseverance and getting ready for high school and their future.  

After debating for several days about what to teach, I finally decided on setting goals, academic success skills, and how long is a lifetime.

Day 1: SMART Goals

I went over SMART Goals.  I used most of the same lesson plan (SMART Goals) I did with my 5th graders right before break, but tweaked it for 8th grade.

We reviewed SMART Goals:

Then, I had them set their own.

Afterwards, I had them do an activity.  We played 4 Corners.  

I set these signs in each corner of the room and had the students begin by gathering in the center of the room.  I asked them to move to the corner of the room that would be most like them after each statement I read.  

These are some of the statements I read to them:
After I was done reading all the statements, I had them take their seats and we discussed the activity.  I asked them:

  1. What did we do in this activity?
  2. Did anything surprise you when we did this activity?
  3. What do you understand better about yourself having played 4 corners?
  4. What did you learn?
  5. How can you use what you learned moving forward?

The students agreed that they learned that these were things that could stand in the way of their goals.  These are distractions, however, some could be helpful distractions but many were hurtful or wasteful.  It was great to see them reflect back to their own lives.  

To see the original SMART Goals Lesson click here.

Day 2:  Success Skills

I played Classroom Feud, which is a game I made that is played like Family Feud.  

I broke the class up into two teams and then they played to win!

This was just a fun review, but they really did have to stop and think about some of the answers.  My son is in the 8th grade class, and his advice to me every morning was, "Mom, don't embarrass me!"  This won his thumbs up approval.  

To Get your own copy of this PowerPoint game, click here.

Day 3:  How Long Is A Lifetime?

This lesson I got from my friend, Jan.  It was perfect.  I've uploaded the PowerPoint to our CITM files for easy access. You can also find the handouts there as well.   These are a the first few slides.

I did add this video to the PowerPoint.  I loved how it really made the kids think about what can be done in a one's life.  I showed this after the Objective.

After we finished the PowerPoint, I gave each student a piece of paper and asked them to write their own timeline for their life.  

Here are a few of their timelines:

When they were done, I asked them to share their timelines with someone else and then we processed the activity as a group.  We then summed up the past 3 days and what they learned and how it will apply to them as they go to high school.  

Have a great idea for a classroom lesson?  Let me know.  Leave a comment below or share it with a group below!

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    1. Awesome lessons Carol! So well organized and to the point. What a great way to get them thinking about high school and life beyond. I'm sure the impact on your students was great!

      1. Thanks Jeannie! We had fun. Even my toughest critic agreed.

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    6. It is important to set a career goal that is measurable to be achievable. Then only you can make changes and improve your steps for achieving goals. And it is important to set a positive goal such as "to improve my skills so that is two years".

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    9. Hi Carol! Does the timeline lesson align with any ASCA standards?
      Thank you!


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