Long-Term Goals

6, 7, 8

Students brainstorm a variety of short-term and long-term goals and then they discuss the logistics of carrying out some of the goals. They brainstorm about what resources are needed, what needs would be met, and how they can ensure perseverance in reaching one or more of the goals.

PrintOne 20-minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • categorize goals as short-term or long-term goals and discuss ways to persevere to reach goals.
  • discuss the meaning of a quote by Albert Einstein and how it relates to perseverance and long-term goals.
  • two sheets of chart paper with the following headings: "short-term goals" and "long-term goals"
  • markers

All About Science: "The Theory of Relativity" https://www.allaboutscience.org/theory-of-relativity.htm


  1. Anticipatory Set

    In the previous lesson, the students were given homework to think of five goals. Tell the students to get out their list of goals and family goals and raise their hands in response to the questions you ask about them. They may raise their hands in response to several of the categories you ask them about. This will show them the variety of goals people set. Ask if anyone has goals related to money (have them look around  for a show of hands after each question). Related to giving? Related to school? Related to health? Related to college or career? Related to organization of time? Continue with other categories and ask the students to name other categories of goals.

  2. Explain that goals can be short-term or long-term.

  3. Short-term goals are for something people plan to do or buy soon, usually in less than a year.

  4. Long-term goals, like saving for college, take longer than three years.

  5. Have the students reread their five personal goals and family goals and categorize them as short-term or long-term goals.

  6. Display two pieces of chart paper and provide markers. As the students are ready, have them each write one of their long-term and one of their short-term goals on the charts. To make this move faster, post two charts for writing short-term goals and two charts for long-term goals.

  7. When everyone has written goals on the charts, have the class read over the charts, looking for goals that spark their interest as possible goals to work toward as a class. Discuss what action they could take (personally and as a class) to persevere toward one or more of these goals.

  8. Read the following quote: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." This is a quote by Albert Einstein, who made the most famous leap in learning through his theory of relativity. Discuss what this quote says about perseverance and long-term goals. Have students write in their character education journals a comparison between this quote and the definition they wrote in Lesson One.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.