A Facing History journal sits on top of a student guide for Choices in Little Rock.
Activity

Closing Challenge

Students identify one personal or academic goal that they would like to commit to in the week ahead.

Published:

At a Glance

Activity

Language

English — US

Subject

  • Advisory
  • Civics & Citizenship
  • English & Language Arts
  • History
  • Social Studies

Grade

6–12
  • Culture & Identity
  • Equity & Inclusion

Overview

About This Activity

This routine helps develop students’ self-efficacy and decision-making by supporting them to set personal and academic goals. When students set a goal, develop concrete steps to work toward it, and revisit the goal to assess their progress, they are developing the skills and habits of mind for goal-setting in all areas of their lives.

Preparing to Teach

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Procedure

Steps for Implementation

As a class, create a list of personal and academic goals. Record the ideas on the board or chart paper. The following ideas for goals can help get them started:

  • Attend a teacher’s office hours this week.
  • Read a book of your choosing for ten minutes each day.
  • Respond with a positive comment to a classmate’s social media post.
  • Meditate for five minutes. Find a free video online if meditation is new for you. 
  • Before you go to sleep, list or sketch in your journal three things you are grateful for.

Invite students to choose one goal (or create their own) that they can commit to focusing on for the week. Have students do a quick journal reflection to explore why they chose the goal and list three concrete steps they can take to help meet it. Finally, have students share their closing challenge in a Wraparound. They can revisit their goals during the week to chart their progress.

Variations

Using a virtual whiteboard or a collective Google Doc, have students type ideas for personal and academic goals. Then have students choose one goal (or create their own) and do a quick journal reflection to explore why they chose the goal and list three concrete steps they can take to meet it. Finish by asking students to type their goal and one concrete step in the chat. Save the chat and check in with students during the week, perhaps asking them to send you an email with an update.

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Facing History and Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

Using the strategies from Facing History is almost like an awakening.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif