Purpose: Students learn that they may need help with achieving their goals.
1. Students participate in an activity.
Prior to class, arrange the desks so that there is an open space in the center of the classroom. Place 15 paper plates in a straight line across the floor, leaving about a foot of space between each plate.
Divide the class into two teams—team A and team B. Have each team line up at opposite ends of the line of paper plates. Explain to students that the goal is to have the teams switch positions by stepping only on the paper plates. Students who step off the plates must move to the back of their line and begin again.
Allow team A to move across the paper plates. Tell the second student on team A to begin moving across the line when the first student steps on the fifth plate. Tell the third student on team A to begin moving across the line when the second student steps on the fifth plate, and so on. Once team A has moved to the other side, have team B repeat the same process.
Ask students if it was easy or difficult to accomplish the goal. Ask students to explain their answers. (Students might respond: there was nothing to stop each person, it was a simple task.)
2. Students repeat the activity.
Tell students that they are going to repeat the activity. Tell them that the rules and the goal are the same, but you have added an obstacle. Explain that this time the first student on each team will begin at the same time. As teams attempt to switch positions, remind students that they are not competing with the other team and that those students waiting in line can make suggestions.
3. Students discuss the activity.
Ask students to explain if it was easier or more difficult to accomplish the goal the second time. Ask them to tell how they solved the problem or how they think they might solve it if given another chance. (Students might respond: one person can squat down while the other steps over them, students can slide on the plates by supporting each other’s balance until they have switched places.)
Ask students if the teams could have switched positions without communicating with each other. Ask students to suggest how this activity might relate to the concept of goal achievement. Elicit from students that at times, it may seem as though others are working against them when they are trying to reach a goal. Tell students that, especially at those times, they should ask for help and work with others to discover ways to ensure that their goals are accomplished.