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How to Create Vision Boards with Elementary Students

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Show Notes:

The New Year is a fabulous time to think about our hopes and dreams for the coming year. And, although vision boards are not new, I always find it refreshing to create a new vision board every couple of years or so because it helps me to get clear about what is really important to me now, and where I truly want to go and what I want in my life moving forward.

But, how can you create vision boards with your students? Here's a quick summary of how you can get started right away in 7 simple steps:

1. Define What a Goal Is:

First, begin by asking your students if they know what a goal is. Talk about goals they’ve had and why it’s important to have goals, and what it feels like when they’ve accomplished a goal. You might want to record one or two goals the students give as examples, and share one or two of your own goals. Point out what makes a goal great is when it’s specific and when they use the words “I am” rather than “I want.” For example:

Good: “I want to get better at soccer.”

Better: “I am going to score 20 goals this season!”

2. Goals vs. Dreams:

Secondly, ask your students if they know the difference between a “goal” and a “dream.” Talk about how a dream can feel a little bigger than a goal, but that’s ok because dreams often tell us what is really in our hearts, what really matters to us, and what we really, really want.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what our dreams are, because we don’t spend a lot of time talking or thinking about this. So explain that this is their chance to think big about “if they had a dream come true, what would it be?”

3. Show Examples:

Next, show your students a few examples of “vision boards” or “dream boards” and how these people have used pictures to show what they dream of. If you have a vision board, it would be wonderful to share yours with your students, or tell them what you would put on yours.

4. Write Goals & Dreams:

Then, give each student a copy of the template (included in the writing lesson plan I've developed for you), and then brainstorm and list examples for what the students might want to write for each topic.

You want your students to write goals and dreams for a variety of topics, like, what is their goal or dream for friends in their life this year? Do they really want to find a best friend? Do they want to see a friend who has moved away? Do they want to make 2 new friends this year?

What about their school-related goal? Which subject area do they want to get better at? What grade do they want to achieve?

5. Find or Draw Pictures:

Once the students complete each section, invite them to search magazines and/or draw pictures on pieces of paper to illustrate each goal. Then, they can cut their goal sheet into strips and paste them onto a large piece of paper or poster board alongside each picture.

6. Add Inspirational Quotes:

You might also want to print out inspirational phrases and quotes that the students can add to their posters to remind them to keep working towards their goals and dreams and to not give up.

7. Display Their Work:

Finally, display these vision boards somewhere in your classroom where students can revisit them throughout the year and remind themselves of the dreams and goals they have. You might even have your students close their eyes and think about one goal at a time, and invite them to imagine how amazing it will feel once they’ve actually accomplished their goal.

To get the complete lesson plan to learn how I did this with my students in Writer's Workshop, check out my new product inside my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

xo Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.

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