Goal Setting Lesson Objective
The students will set a measurable goal, break it into two to three steps, and develop a written action plan to complete the goal.
Introduce Goal Setting With Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
The teacher begins the lesson by asking the students what types of goals kids their age can accomplish. The students generate ideas and give each other feedback on the goals. The teacher asks the class to start to think about something they want to accomplish as she reads them a story by Dr. Seuss.
The teacher reads Oh, the Places You’ll Go! to the students. She pauses briefly to ask questions such as, “What Dr. Seuss is talking about here?” and “When have you ever felt like that?” The students discuss the story and its message, rereading passages of the book as needed. The teacher will show the students a roadmap graphic and talk about how accomplishing a goal is like taking the journey in the book.
Use the Roadmap to Set Goals and Develop an Action Plan
The teacher tells the class that they are going to use the roadmap to set and goal and develop a plan to accomplish it. She explains that accomplishing a goal isn’t easy so they are going to set themselves up for success by taking Dr. Seuss’ advice. The students pair up and choose a goal for themselves that they can accomplish in a short period of time such as a month. The students give each other feedback and assistance regarding the feasibility of the goal and what types of things each would need to do to make it a reality.
After the teacher checks the goals the students have she asks them to break each goal into two or three smaller steps. She gives the students a sample goal and has the class demonstrate how to break it into small steps. Once they understand what to do the students work with their partner to determine the steps needed to accomplish their personal goals.
The teacher refers back to Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and asks the students to recall Dr. Seuss talking about being left in the Lurch, rereading the section if necessary. The teacher talks about how when you are trying to accomplish a goal you sometimes hit snags or problems. She explains that the best way to overcome these set-backs is to have a plan or strategy to deal with them. The teacher illustrates her point with an example of a time she was in the “Lurch”, the “Slump”, or “the Waiting Place” and what she did to keep moving toward her goal. The students work with their partner to record one or two possible strategies they could use when the “Bang-ups and “Hang-ups” happen to them.
The students add their goal, steps, and strategy to deal with set-backs to the roadmap graphic organizer. The students work toward accomplishing the goal documenting their progress on the roadmap. The kids meet with their partners weekly to discuss which step they are on and any issues they are having. At the end of the time period the class meets as a whole to evaluate their goal-setting assignment and summarize what they have learned.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is an ideal vehicle to teach students how to set and accomplish goals. Dr. Seuss wrote the speech to talk to graduates about life’s journeys and what can happen along the way so it is a very effective tool for talking about goal achievement. Kids will have lots of fun learning about planning ahead and breaking large goals into manageable parts.
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