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Goals for a New School Year

EducationWorld partner Cre8time has shared this resource from Elmer’s Teachers Club™. Browse their selection of creative lessons by teachers, for teachers, and join the club for exclusive access to Common Core-aligned lessons, project ideas and more.

Subjectsgoal setting

Writing, Art



Brief Description

Self-expression and setting goals are important, especially when setting the stage for the new school year.  This writing and art activity enables students to set individual goals and create a colorful classroom display. 


Students will:

  • Identify individual strengths as well as areas of growth and improvement.
  • Set academic goals for the new school year.
  • Create a classroom display that illustrates their goals.


Self-awareness, goals, goal-setting, character development, back to school, first day of school

Materials Needed

  • The book Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim
  • Cardstock
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Elmer’s® School Glue


Lesson Plan

Read the book Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim, aloud to students. The story is set in ancient China and is about a little girl named Ruby. Ruby is determined to go to a university, just like the boys in her family. Explain the cultural differences in ancient China, where there was little expectation for girls to get an education. Engage students in a discussion about the opportunities they have to attend and excel in school. 

Continue the discussion by asking students to think about what they want to accomplish in the upcoming school year. Illustrate the fact that all of us have strengths and weaknesses as well as individual goals. 

Provide each student with a sheet of cardstock. Instruct students to draw the outline of a flower and cut the flower shape out. (Younger students may need a template to trace.) Tell them to write one goal for the year in the center of the flower. 

Provide tissue paper squares and Elmer’s® School Glue. Pour a small amount of glue into a shallow bowl or plastic lid.  Model the process of taking one tissue paper square, wrapping it loosely around the eraser end of a pencil, dipping it into Elmer’s School Glue, and then placing it on the flower. Remind students not to cover up their goal with the tissue paper. Students can choose random colors to create the flower petals or use specific colors to create a pattern. 

Create a classroom display by posting the flowers on a bulletin board or wall and adding stems and leaves to complete the look. 

Extend the lesson:

Literature Connections

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull

My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream by Jennifer Fosberry

My Name is Not Alexander: Just How Big Can a Little Boy Dream by Jennifer Fosberry

Salt in his Shoes:  Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream by Deloris and Roslyn Jordan

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby


Ask students to document their goal (and plan for reaching that goal) in their journal. Revisit the journal entry every now and again to provide opportunities for students to self-assess their progress.


Allow students to help you construct the classroom display of their goal flowers. Ask them to bring their completed flowers to you one at a time. As you add their flower to the display, ask students to tell you about why they chose the goal and how they plan to reach the goal.  Mini-conferences like this can be extremely valuable opportunities for you to assess students’ understanding of the activity. Additionally, students enjoy the individual attention and conversation with you. 

Lesson Plan Source

Cre8time, through partnership with EducationWorld

Submitted By

Elmer’s Teachers Club









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