Winning Futures students at Pierce Elementary in Birmingham, Michigan recently took part in a unique activity that demonstrates the importance of – and techniques for – planning. This fun exercise is one you can use in your own classroom or youth group and it aligns nicely with the Winning Futures “Road to Success” goal-setting curriculum and workbook lessons.
• Mentors pretend to be an alien from outer space who has recently arrived on the planet Earth. Because mentors are aliens, they have not figured out how humans do certain things. The aliens back on the home planet have asked “Mentor Aliens” to write down how humans do things so they can learn more about the human race. To do this, “Mentor Aliens” ask the students for help.
• Without any help from the “Mentor Aliens,” students work as a team to write step-by-step directions on how to color a picture.
• Students then read the directions to the “Mentor Aliens.” The purpose of this exercise is to show that planning and details are important in the goal setting process. To have fun with it, “Mentor Aliens” need to follow the steps exactly as they are read to them! For example if students say “pick up the crayon,” – but they never told you HOW to pick up the crayon… with your hand, your mouth, your elbow – “Mentor Aliens” can pick up their crayon in any number of crazy ways! The students will realize that their steps may not be as clear as they need to be and that they should rewrite their plan to be more specific.
• “Mentor Aliens” continue asking what to do next until the student has dictated complete directions. “Mentor Aliens” should ask questions that help the student elaborate on his/her explanation, such as “Where do I get that?” or “Do I have to do anything before I can do that?”
Try using this lesson to show students how proper planning and making specific goals are important for achieving successful outcomes. Many more lessons like these are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Road to Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.