Goal Setting in 4th Grade - Part 1 - All About Goals

Monday, December 12, 2016
4th grade Goal setting lesson plan, Part 1 of 3

One of the options for the academic skills unit I gave my 4th grade teachers was a 3-part lesson on goal setting. Another was for an "all in one" goal setting lesson. I had one teacher pick each, so lesson planning/editing I went. So much of what I was finding on goal setting in my searches was about saving money to buy expensive things, or working hard to do something like get in the school play - not a fit for what my teachers were looking for. Or it was just a bit above my students, academically and/or developmentally.

I decided the three main components to goal setting that I wanted to include were: what are goals/why are goals important/what are types of goals, what makes a goal a "good" goal, and personal goal setting.

Here's the Part 1 PPT - below is a brief outline of it. I would share the PPT for download but it includes images and a video I don't have rights to distribute (I'm a 'google image searcher'). Should be easy enough to recreate if you wanted to though.

-Go through PPT to explore the idea of goals, the importance of goals, and the types of goals.
-After discussing academic goals:
            -Students brainstorm ideas of academic goals on white boards. Have a few share out.
-After discussing personal goals:
-Show SuperBowl dog diet/exercise commercial and discuss
            -Students do 3 rounds of snowball fight with personal goals. Discuss in a circle.

The video doesn't show in the PPT, but here it is! It was truly the best video clip I could find on this topic. I don't love that it's about weight loss, but it's funny and hits home the main points I'm trying to get across.

*Not sure what snowball fight is? It's an activity I use in my upper grades when I need movement or I want the students' response to be anonymous (or both). For this lesson, they each are given a half sheet of paper and asked to write an example of a personal goal a 4th grader may have. Then they crumple it up, stand up, and everyone "throws their snowball" then retrieves a new one. They open it up, add another example of a goal, crumple and throw. I talk them through each tiny step in this and it prevents it from getting too rowdy. We do 3 rounds of this and then gather in a circle. Students have in front of them a piece of paper with 3 examples of personal goals a 4th grader may have, all written by different people. I'll ask things like "raise your hand if there's one on your paper about behavior", then note how many and have a couple share out. "Who has a goal on their paper about a hobby or activity?", "Who has a long-term goal about a career?", etc.


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