Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanying the BrainPOP topic Setting Goals addresses students’ understanding of how to set goals and identify strategies for achieving them. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Prompt students to think of a time when they wanted to improve or achieve something or make a change. Ask:

  • What steps did you take to improve, change, or achieve something?
  • Were you successful? How so? 
  • What didn’t work? Why?


  • Read aloud the description on the Setting Goals topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Students read the “In Depth” Related Reading and discuss with a partner the methods for reaching goals described in the text, including which they’ve tried before and which they plan to use in the future.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Make a BrainPOP-style movie that identifies a goal you achieved or hope to achieve and how it addresses each of the SMART criteria.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying goals. Review each to determine whether they meet the SMART-system criteria, and adjust them so that they do.
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme that illustrates the importance of making a goal time-bound or having a deadline.


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they learned about setting goals. Prompt them by asking questions such as:

  • How might you adjust one of your current goals keeping in mind the SMART system? 
  • What obstacle is standing in the way of one of your goals? How can you address or remove the obstacle? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Setting Goals Challenge.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments