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Learning Experience/Unit

Setting Goals by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES


English Language Arts (NYS P-12 Common Core)

Grade Levels

Elementary, 4th Grade


  • Walk around the groups informally assessing cooperative group abilities as well as their understanding of goals and their importance.
  • Informally assess individual understanding of setting goals using Kidspiration
  • Students will be assessed through a written essay. The essay will be scored according to its focus on the topic of setting goals, organization, sentence fluency, grammar and spelling conventions, and penmanship.
  • Essay Rubric

Learning Context/ Introduction

It is important to set goals to make wishes and dreams come true. Goals we set can help lead us to the right path in life. In this learning experience, students will have an opportunity to set long-term and short-term goals in different areas of their life. Students will use the software program Kidspiration to organize their goals. As a culminating experience, the students will write an essay and participate in a video.


Planning- This learning experience needs to be coordinated with a time when the necessary technology is available. (LCD projector, computer lab for Kidspiration)

Implementation- This learning experience takes place over the course of 3 sixty minute blocks of time. If the video is done, it may take up to two additional blocks time.

Essential Question

Can you turn your wishes and dreams into reality?

Instructional/Environment Modifications

A print out of the Kidspiration template for students without prior knowledge of the program. They can complete it by writing in ideas instead of typing on the computer.


Day 1- 60 minutes

  • 1. PowerPoint Presentation- "Setting Goals"
  • 2. Slide 1- Begin learning experience by introducing essential question.
  • 3. Slide 2- Model brainstorming by sharing some of your wishes and dreams. Allow students to brainstorm a list of dreams and wishes of their own on a sheet of loose-leaf paper.
  • 4. Slide 3- Decide on which dreams and wishes you have control over. Model first by explaining why some wishes and dreams can't come true. Use the InterWrite tablet software to cross off wishes and dreams that can’t be controlled.
  • 5. Slide 4- Activate prior knowledge using wait time extended to discuss the focus questions "What is a goal?" and "Are goals important?"
  • 6. Slide 5- video clip- Students will watch a 4 and ½ minute video explaining goals and their importance.
  • 7. Slides 6-9 Discussion questions for the end of the video.
  • 8. Slide 6- "What is a goal?"
  • 9. Slide 7- "Are goals important?"
  • 10. Slide 8- "What is a short-term goal?"
  • 11. Slide 9- "What is a long-term goal?"

Day 2- 60 minutes

  • 1. Review last lesson using wait time extended for the following questions.
  • a. What is a goal?
  • b. Are goals important?
  • c. What is a short-term goal?
  • d. What is a long-term goal?
  • 2. During this activity, students will use a computer to perform a prewriting assignment. The assignment is to use Kidspiration to organize long-term and short-term goals for academics and for their personal lives outside of school. Hand out and model the directions for the class before going to the computer lab.

Day 3- Essay- Setting Goals

  • 1. Hand out the “Setting Goals” Rubric to each student. Read and explain the directions.
  • 2. Review the rubric so the students understand how they will be graded. The essay will be scored according to its focus on the topic of setting goals, organization, sentence fluency, grammar and spelling conventions, and penmanship
  • 3. Allow students time to get the essay started and assign the rest as homework.

Day 4

  • To close this learning experience, the students participated in the making of a video just for fun. The video will be used next year as a teaching tool to help introduce students to “Setting Goals.”
  • For the video, students were divided into the following 5 groups
  • - What is a goal?
  • - Are goals important?
  • - What is an academic goal?
  • - What is a long-term goal?
  • - What is a short-term goal?
  • Each group was responsible for creating a dialogue that involved everyone and answered their question. When the video was finished, it was edited with "Movie Maker" using student input.
  • Class movie
  • photo consent
  • Kidspiration directions (handout)
  • Kidspiration- Setting Goals
  • Powerpoint-Setting goals

Reflections and Feedback

This lesson was developed to use at the beginning of the year. It is important for students to understand what they do now affects their future.

The products completed by students helped me gain an understanding of their abilities with computers (through the use of Kidspiration) and in writing.

After implementing this learning experience, I realized how students become more motivated when technology is integrated. Students were more attentive during instruction and eager to organize their ideas using Kidspiration.

Student Work

Three Products were selected from the class.

  • The first student demonstrates a thorough understanding of goals. The essay has an inviting introduction that previews the structure to the paper. The main idea stands out and is supported by detailed information. All sentences are well constructed with varied structure. The student did not make any grammatical or spelling errors that distract the reader from the content. The paper is neatly written.
  • The second example demonstrates an understanding of the task. The student attempts to organize topics in paragraphs and the topic is well focused throughout the essay. However, the student does not write a clear introduction of the topic or structure of the paper. The student also does not use periods and leaves words out which distract the reader from the content. The paper is neatly written with one distracting correction.
  • The third example fails to write an inviting introduction. The main idea is somewhat clear but there is a need for more supporting information. Sentences lack structure. The write does not make any grammatical or spelling errors that distract the reader from the content. The paper is neatly written.

Essay score of a 4 (High)
Essay score of a 2 (Low)
Essay score of a 3 (middle)

Related Resource

Unitedstreaming.com -video clips on setting goals and their importance


Mr. Brabaw's Class Website

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