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  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. 
  • Assign Related Reading and have students read the article “In Depth.” Have students 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 and ASSESS 

Assign the Setting Goals Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about setting goals while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Make a BrainPOP-style movie that identifies a goal you achieved or hope to achieve. In your movie, answer this question: How does your goal address 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. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Listen to John F. Kennedy’s speech about his goal and cite details to answer the questions.

More to Explore

Social-Emotional Learning Collection: Continue to build understanding around personal growth with BrainPOP’s six-week SEL curriculum that addresses the five CASEL competencies.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments