Personhood Curriculum
3rd Grade
Wishes and Goals
Lesson Plan

Teaching Goals
  1. What is a wish?
  2. What is a goal? Define "goal".
  3. Difference between a wish and a goal.
  4. Get familiar with what are goals (by looking at some).
  5. Define:
    • Short-term goal can be done in 1 day.
    • Mid term goal takes more than 1 day.
    • Long term goal can take months or years.
  6. Begin to establish the habit of setting goals (goal to draw a picture).
  7. Establish the idea of planning how to reach goals.
  8. Establish that we must work to reach goals.
  9. Practice: Create shorts lists of each.

Teacher Prep
Prepare Transparency #1 --- "Wish List"
Things 3rd graders might wish for. Some should be possible to achieve, and some impossible. Some should be possible for a 3rd grader to make come true that day. Some that they could make come true over a longer period of time. Some that need help from somebody.
(Display a page "phtran1.htm" that you can print out and make into a transparency.)
Download a version in Rich Text Format: phtran1.rtf

(Read about how to do a clean download for editing and/or printing out hardcopy.)

Prepare Transparency #2 --- "Comparison of Wishes and Goals"
(Display a page "phtran2.htm" that you can print out and make into a transparency.)
Download a version in Rich Text Format: phtran2.rtf
Prepare Transparency #3 --- "Planning to Draw a Picture"
(Display a page "phtran3.htm" that you can print out and make into a transparency.)
Download a version in Rich Text Format: phtran3.rtf
Prepare Transparency #6 ---"Short, Mid, & Long term goals"
(Display a page "phtran6.htm " that you can print out and make into a transparency.)
Download a version in Rich Text Format: phtran6.rtf

You should begin using the Student Participation Record. Continue to use it unless directed not to in a lesson plan.

Class Time


Without goals we don't know where we want to go. Without plans we don't know how to get where we need to be. Without goals and plans we just drift through life, letting it "just happen" to us. We are like tumbleweeds being blown around, hither, thither, and yon by the winds of life. We are not in control! With this lesson, we began to take control. We start by examining what goals are and how we reach them.

Introduction / Presentation / Discussion

Wishes are things we would like to be true. How many of you have every made a wish? I think we all have. Here is a list of some wishes.
Project Transparency #1 "Wish List" (Read it.)



Student Participation / Activity

Can you name some other wishes you or other kids might have now, or did have in the past? (Teacher adds them to her list on the transparency.)

After you have a good list, ask them about each one:


A goal is like a wish, except you can work to make it come true. When you have made it come true we say you have reached the goal. (Like a football player crossing the goal line.)

Those wishes not crossed off can become goals. That is, if we want to have it come true, we can work to make it come true. (Rename the Wish List as "Possible Goals.")

As you can see from the list, reaching a goal can be very easy, very hard, or anywhere in between.

Learning can be a good goal. Read the "Learning" goals in the list.

After we look at this next slide for a few minutes, I will take it down and then ask you some questions about it. Project Transparency #2. Read it to them.


Comparison of Wishes and Goals

Something you would like to be true.

Something you want to be true

May be impossible!

It is possible for you to make it come true.

There is no plan to make it come true.

A plan can be done to make it come true

You may need help

May take a short time

May take a long time

Not likely to come true

If you work hard enough towards making it true, it will probably come true.

Immediate Review

Pull transparency down. For each question, call on someone. Record Student Participation.

Goals can take different amounts of time to achieve them.

Short-term goal

1 day or less

Mid-term goal

2 days to a month

Long-term goal

More than a month to many years

Project Transparency #6

Here is a list of goals.

"What is this goal; short, mid term, or long term, and why do you say so?"

Short Term, Mid Term, & Long Term Goals
(Which is Which?)

Eat Lunch.


Take lessons and learn how to swim.


Build a tree house with dad.


Be a medical doctor.


Plant a tomato plant.


Build a model airplane.


Put together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.


Sail a boat to Hawaii all by myself.


Draw a picture of a car.


Feed your pet.


Become a pilot and fly an airplane.

Have students each write three lists: Short term, Mid term, and Long term goals. List at least three of each. (To show they understand the difference.)
After writing your lists, pair off and review each other's lists. Explain to each other why you put that goal on its list. Correct own papers, if needed. Turn in papers.


Draw a Picture

We are now going to have a goal to draw a picture. Before you can reach that goal (of having drawn a picture) you will need to answer questions like:

Project Transparency #3

Planning to Draw a Picture

  1. When? (In a few minutes.)
  2. Where? (At your desk.)
  3. What to draw?
  4. What look like?
  5. How big?
  6. What things in the picture?
  7. What colors to use?

These kinds of decisions are called planning. For a simple plan we often keep it in our head instead of writing it down.

We will learn more about planning, and do some next time.


Making goals to work towards, and plans to guide us, are a major part of growing up, and of being grown up. It is better to take control away from forces outside of ourselves, and build the life that WE want to have. We will learn more about this next class time.

Follow up done PERIODICALLY by classroom teacher.
(As time allows)

Spend only 5 to 10 minutes. Put a "goal" on the board, read it to them, and have discussion about it. Each time present the next item on this list:

Ask them:

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