Educator Features

My Goals
Teacher Section

Objective: To help students develop long-term goals and short-term goals.

Grade Level: 5-8
Subject(s): Science
Prep Time: < 10 minutes
Duration: One class period
Materials Category: Classroom

National Education Standards
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
      Personal and community health
History and Nature of Science
      Science as a human endeavor
  • Writing materials
  • 5" x 7" index cards
  • 3" x 5" index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Student Page
Background Information

Landing a fulfilling career doesn't just happen. It is done by making informed choices about education, activities and the jobs that you pursue. Reaching your career goal begins long before you start college. Setting goals now is important because things that you do in school will affect your future. If you start thinking about goals that are positive and reasonable, you'll be on your way to turning them into reality. Remember not to set goals that are unattainable; otherwise, you might become frustrated and give up.

One of life's most important lessons is that there are no big jobs, only a series of little ones. Most big jobs can be cut into several small tasks and activities. Dividing big goals into smaller ones -- and then achieving them -- is a great way to accomplish anything in life. Shape your goals into small, reasonable tasks that are attainable, and you will be more successful.

It's important to remember that goals in life don't always have to be large, intimidating projects. Something as small as remembering to smile at people during the day, or helping a family member with a chore can lead to an improved attitude towards life -- and that's a wonderful goal!

  1. Read the following true or false statements aloud. Have students record their answers on a piece of paper.
            I have specific goals for myself.
            I regularly plan and schedule my time.
            I follow a schedule every day.
            I finish projects before they are due.
            I seldom waste time.
            I complete all my assignments on time.
            I have good study habits.
            I seldom feel overloaded and behind.
            I help around the house without being asked.
            I have plenty of time for fun and relaxation.

  2. Ask the class the following questions and discuss their answers:
            What are goals?
            Are goals important?
            Do you have any goals?
            How do you make goals?
            Who makes your goals?
            Do you have any goals for the future?

  3. Distribute the Student Pages, and read the background information together.

  4. Discuss the importance of setting goals and the difference between short-term and long-term goals.

  5. Explain that the students are going to identify a short-term and a long-term goal for their class to work toward. The short-term goal should be one that each student can achieve within one day, and the long-term goal should be one that can be achieved within a week. Write the students' ideas on the board. The class should vote on a short-term goal and a long-term goal for their class. Allow time for discussion of their ideas. Remember to pick a reward for reaching the long-term goal.
    Short-term goal: every student will learn a new word each day and will use it when talking and writing in class.
    Long-term goal: each student will read a certain number of books in a month.
  6. Remind students that they need to choose goals that are reasonable and to take realistic steps to reach them.

  • Collect the students' Setting Goals charts, and have students share the information with the class.
  • Display the charts on a bulletin board. Check them periodically throughout the year to observe the progress each student has made.
  • Students may create a time line for achieving goals.
  • Research careers of interest, and create plans for reaching those careers.

My Goals Student Page