Goal Setting Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson to teach your students about the importance of setting goals. Then have them use the information to reflect and set a SMART goal for your class.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify types of goals
  • give reasons for goal setting
  • explain the SMART Goal Theory
  • set SMART goals


30 minutes to 1 hour

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3

Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Begin by telling students about a time you had a goal and achieved it, or read a short story that conveys the same idea, such as Big Al by Andrew Clements, or The Gardener by Sarah Stewart.
  • Have students partner share a time they achieved a goal. Briefly share stories with the group.
  • Imagine what the outcomes of these experiences may have been without a strategy or goal. Discuss.
  • With your students, read our lesson Personal Goal Setting: Definition & Ideas.
  • Discuss the Smart Goal Theory. Write the acronym SMART on the board or chart paper, and demonstrate using your personal experience or one from the text.
  • Ask:
    • How does using a SMART goal help you achieve goals?
    • What aspect of the SMART goal is most important to you? Why?
    • Why should we set goals in life or school?


  • Have students brainstorm goals they have for your class, such as good grades, better social skills, or increased understanding of a topic.
  • Ask students to choose one goal, then write the acronym SMART on a piece of paper.
  • Allow students time to create their SMART goals, circulating the room for support.
  • Share SMART goals.


  • Have students create visual art using their SMART goals and display around the room.
  • Plan a method of checking in with students to monitor progress of SMART goals.
  • Research influential people in your field and share their methods of goal setting and monitoring with students.
  • Have students research a goal-setting method and share with class.

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