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My Favorite Goal Setting Activities for the Classroom

Perfect for the New Year, a New Term, or a New Day, like… TODAY!

Have you ever considered goal-setting to be a life-skill?

When you think about it, goals whether spoken or unspoken, written down or left to live in our minds act as a motivating force that push us along in life.

You could even argue that goals give us purpose. They set us on the path of growth and development, so of all the life-skills we need to teach our students… this one seems to be all-encompassing.

Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.” – Mark Twain

Goal-Setting has long been studied and linked to an increase in, and predictor of success in students.

In an article by Psychology Today, the author mentions, “Research has uncovered many key aspects of goal setting theory and its link to success (Kleingeld, et al, 2011). Setting goals is linked with self-confidence, motivation, and autonomy (Locke & Lathan, 2006). 

However, It is not enough to let our goals live in our heads. The same article cites, “A 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed when people wrote down their goals, they were 33 percent more successful in achieving them than those who formulated outcomes in their heads.” As an educator, it is empowering to know these numbers, we can use them for our own good, and for the good of our students.

“In an article at Edutopia, teachers learn that fostering resourcefulness involves encouraging students to plan, strategize, prioritize, set goals, seek resources, and monitor their progress.” So this raises the question, as an educator…

How do we effectively and explicitly teach students to both set and reach their goals?

I’m excited to share some of my favorite activities that explore just that. As with any Teaching on Lemon Lane blog post, it wouldn’t be complete without some fun FREEBIES to try in your classroom! I would LOVE to know YOUR tips and tricks for teaching Goal-Setting in the classroom, as well as why YOU think it’s important. Comment below!


Before we dive in, I want to let you know that ALL of these activities are available as a BUNDLE!

There is both a: Goal Setting Bundle, and the Grit and Growth Mindset Bundle!

Why choose when you shouldn’t have to right??? You can now purchase both Bundles at Teachers Pay Teachers. When you purchase the Mega Bundles you are able to save BIG and snag the following activities at a STEEP DISCOUNT! TPT actually warns me about listing my bundles at too steep of a discount… but I can’t help it! I would love for you to be able to justify trying all of these in your classroom! ?

Click Here for More Information on the Goal Setting Bundle


Click Here for More Information on the Grit and Growth Bundle

Let's dive in! Below you will find a brief introduction on a few of my favorite Goal Setting activities and projects. Many can be implemented in both the virtual classroom or traditional classroom setting. The majority of these activities were created with 5th grade - middle school, - high school students in mind. ***However, I often receive reviews from grades in elementary.

These activities are a great way to start the New Year, a New Term or when returning from a long Winter Break. I even have teachers use these as an awesome Back to School Activity to set the tone for the coming school year. No matter what you choose to do or when you choose to do it, I'm confident both you and your students will love these!

1. Vision Board: Visual Goal Setting and Social-Emotional Learning Activity (**Digital Only, Printable Coming Soon)

This one was such a labor of love, but I think I love it even more because of that! This Goal Setting Activity is perfect at the beginning of the school year for back to school, a new term, or even as a New Year Activity. I even have a teacher friend that uses it as a Self-Love activity for Valentine’s Day!

It also pairs perfectly with my One Word Resolution/Bulletin Board project listed below! When determining the best time to set goals and refocus, there really isn’t a better time than the present.

In a nutshell:

  1. You learn about vision boards, smart goal setting, and complete SEL  and self-reflection activities.
  2. Next, you create a digital vision board then save it as the device’s wallpaper and|or lock screen to act as a daily visual and reminder.
  3. ***Templates for computers, tablets, and Smart Phone screens are available, the Vision Board Bundle includes ALL of the templates. 

This activity can help ANYONE to look at their life and what they are prioritizing with fresh lenses, motivation, and a clear plan moving forward.

I really wanted this project to be just as educational as it is beautiful and I’m happy to report I believe that goal was met.

Not only will your students and YOU (***This project will be just as beneficial for you as it will be for them!) create a visual representation of your goals with IMPACT but you will also learn about:

  • The Elements of Wellness
  • Increase S.E.L. through awesome Social-Emotional Learning Activities
  • All while having fun planning, and creating a beautiful, completely customizable vision board using my EASY to use digital templates through Google Slides!

Once your vision board is complete you will then set it as your device’s wallpaper and|or Lock Screen to act as a daily reminder and reinforcement. (Instructions included)

***The Vision Board Bundle includes 26 different digital templates proportional to a Computer Screen, Tablet, or Smartphone. Use with Chromebooks, MacBooks, laptops, desktops, iPads, Fire, Tab, iPhones, Androids…etc. 

This Product Includes:

  • Teacher Notes
  • Video Walk-Throughs & Tutorials
  • Vocabulary Page
  • What is a Vision Board (Editable Reading Passage)
  • What’s the Point (Editable Reading Passage)
  • A Balanced Life: Elements of Wellness (Editable Reading Passage)
    • Example page of each of the different Elements of Wellness + Questions (Editable)
    • Elements of Wellness Reflection Page (Editable)
  • What I Can Control & What I Can’t Control Digital Sorting Activity
  • Areas of Control poster
  • Good | Better | Best: S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting Chart (Editable)
  • Suggestions for what to include on your Vision Board (Editable)
  • Color Symbolism Chart (Editable)
  • 1 Word Resolution List and Wordsearch
  • Questions to Consider for planning your Vision Board (Editable)
  • Brainstorm Page (Editable)
  • Needed Tech Skills Worksheet, Answer Key, and Video Tutorial (Editable)
  • Reflection Page (Editable)
  • How to Save Vision Board From Google Slides Instructions
  • Completed Template Examples
  • 26 Different Digital Vision Board Templates sized to your Computer Screen, Tablet, or Smartphone
    • Over 150 moveable stickers, graphics, and elements to customize your vision board!

Long story short. This product is JAM-PACKED. I’ve done my best to create something that EVERYONE can benefit and learn from. I know you are going to love it!

Click Here to Purchase



2. One Word Resolution Activities & Interactive Bulletin Board

I’m beyond excited to finally be able to share this idea with you! This activity is JAM packed and so much fun. It’s the perfect way to ring in the year with focus and excitement.

Students begin with the word search. There are over 150 hidden 1-Word Resolutions in that pretty, little word search. The words range in difficulty so this is a great way to scaffold using the SAME resource. The word search requires students to find 8 words, then narrow their list to 1 meaningful word.

The best part is that EVERYONE can download the 1 Word Resolution Word Search for FREE! CLICK HERE and I'll send it, along with THESE straight to your email 🤓

Once students have determined their word they will create a bookmark. This can be done by hand or digitally through Google Slides and Google Classroom then printed. The idea for the bookmark came from the need of students needing a daily reminder of their word.

It all leads to an AWESOME, Interactive Bulletin Board Display.

I've updated this product to better adapt to a digital classroom, and included a link to a PDF version as well for those that prefer to complete the activity by hand. This activity is quickly becoming a favorite activity in classrooms as young as 3rd all the way up to 12th! I can't wait to hear what you think! 


Click to Shop


3. One Word Classroom Collaborative Quilt and Bulletin Board: Digital

This one… like all the others… turned out really COOL.

Put on your seatbelt as I try and find the words to accurately describe how cool this little digital activity is!

The One Word Collaborative quilt begins with students selecting a One Word Resolution or Goal they would like to focus on for the new term, or the coming school year. Students can select from a list of words, or use a fun Digital word search to decide! Students then complete a word work page to better understand the meaning of their word, and brainstorm scenarios and steps to bringing their word to life. (Similar to the One Word Activity above...)

Once their word has been selected students will pick from 1 of the 4 EASY to use templates to create a digital illustration of their word. Students can also complete the Figurative language page where they explain why they selected the pictures that symbolize their word.

This illustrated “piece” will then become their part of a COLLABORATIVE Class Poster or Quilt as I like to refer to it!

The coolest part about this Digital Quilt is that it can be printed off along with the kit I’ve included to create an ACTUAL Bulletin Board for your classroom.

OR you can save the Digital Quilt along with my editable templates to create a DIGITAL bulletin board (using the student’s work) that you can insert into your VIRTUAL Classrooms!

The templates I’ve created allow students to simply use a place holder for the image meaning they won’t need to worry about cropping or sizing their pictures to fit the slide! SO EASY AND FUN!

This product was created in Google Slides and can easily be edited or assigned in Google Classroom or other digital learning platforms.

This Digital Product Includes:

  • Instructions & Tips for using this product in a Distance Learning Setting
  • Instructions & Tips for using this product in your classroom
  • A Collaborative Google Slide etiquette & Page that students must initial before starting activity
  • A student instruction page with tutorials on how to complete the activity
  • Completed examples
  • 4 Different Digital Quilt Piece Templates for you or students to pick from
  • Word List & Digital Word Search for Deciding on the One Word Goal
  • 2 Printable Quilt Piece Templates
  • 24 Editable & Printable Bulletin Board Kit Slides
  • 2 Digital Bulletin Board Templates
  • 5 Different Class Size Quilt Options


Click to Shop


4. Grit & Growth Mindset Challenges|Facilitate Failure in the New Year: Digital & Printable

Growth Mindset and Goals are like Peanut Butter and Jelly.

What is the point of having goals if you don't have a growth mindset, to begin with?

Vice Versa, what's the point in having a growth mindset if you aren't going to apply it to your goals.

In principle, working towards our goals is when we put our growth mindset into play.

Unfortunately, having grit and a growth mindset is often only talked about in the classroom.

Knowing what these are in theory is great, but it is not enough. We as educators also need to be teaching, developing and practicing these skills in the classroom. If you're new around here, you will quickly learn that I am a big proponent of facilitating failure in the classroom.

With the start of the new year, and the end of the school year now fast approaching… there is not a better time to facilitate failure in the classroom... This line of products and FREEBIES allow you to explicitly teach it.

These activities are designed to make your students struggle and fail, tossing them into the depths of the learning pit.

Sounds a little harsh?


But I can’t think of a better place, than the safety of the classroom, in a controlled environment for students to exercise grit and growth mindset than under the watchful eye of a loving teacher. 

By facilitating failure you and your students are able to pinpoint those tough emotions, negative thoughts, and capitalize on them. 

Developing and fine-tuning these skills will both, directly and indirectly, lead to students reaching both their long-term and short-term goals.

Click to Shop


Last but not Least… FREEBIES!

Every month I send out my favorite seasonal freebies to Lemon Lane email subscribers! Check out the freebies included in January Freebie Bundle. If you want these sent straight to your email, along with a freebie bundle every school month following ...



What's Included:

1. FREE One Word Resolution Word Search & Word List

There are over 150 hidden 1-Word Resolutions in that pretty, little word search. The words range in difficulty so this is a great way to scaffold using the SAME resource. The word search requires students to find 8 words, then narrow their list to 1 meaningful word. I've also included the word list which works great as a scaffold or even as fast finisher.

2. FREE Back from Winter Break Bingo **Editable

This is a classic back from Winter Break activity and for good reason! This fun version of Bingo gets student's talking to and interacting with their classmates after winter break. This is a fun way for students to share and process their Christmas / Holiday break and build community in the classroom. Connections with their classmates is a great way to promote social emotional awareness. This activity is editable in Google slides so you can edit ALL the questions to your needs, and even add your students name to the roster, allowing students to check their classmate's names off their lists as they go! (It's ready to print and go or edit the questions to better fit your students' needs)

3. FREE New Year|New Goal Setting Mobile Activity:

This activity is FREE and a lot of fun. It’s the perfect launchpad into a new semester, new term, and new year. Students are asked to describe and illustrate their goals. We then hang these mobiles around the classroom. Hanging them in the classroom isn’t just a fun decoration but an effective reminder for the students to see every school day! Students are asked to set two academic goals for the term, one personal goal, and one future goal.

This product is versatile and can be used for the start of a new term, in January as a New Years Resolutions, or at the beginning of the year with the start of a new grade. 


Don't Forget!

The Big Scribb|Free Mindset Mural:

Speaking of New Year Resolutions or goal-setting…

This FREE project is a mural that is created in pieces by students in your class. Students have no idea what the end result or picture will be and instead are asked to focus on their small tile and to recreate the image assigned to them with as much accuracy as they can.

Any lesson that includes a little mystery immediately means ENGAGEMENT.

This project leads to MEANINGFUL discussion, and the start of the New Year is the PERFECT time to have this discussion.

I’ve included a poster and discussion questions to act as a guide. This is a great lesson to use when introducing setting goals. (Hello New Year, New Term, New Semester)

This project illustrates why it’s important to set small attainable goals in order to achieve their big goals or dreams.

It’s also wonderful for talking about teamwork, and unity in the classroom. You could use this as a morning meeting, at the beginning of the school year, with new year resolutions or at the start of a new term or semester!

I love that at the end of this project you are left with a mural that can be used as a classroom display or bulletin board that MEANS something to your class. You can refer to it throughout the year when students come across a tough concept that feels like an “elephant”. Remind them of the power in taking it one small bite at a time.

With students returning from Winter Break, this is one of the first activities I would do!



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