Encouraging Hopes and Dreams

By VOBS Staff from Voyageur Outward Bound Schools

Hopes and Dreams is an activity that challenges students to identify hopes and dreams they have related to home, school and social engagement. These dreams then get shaped into specific goals to help them create a route to these hopes and dreams.

Description: Today you will be creating a visual representation of your hopes and dreams for the next school year. You will be focusing on 3 areas of your life to create goals around. Make sure that your goals are clear and attainable. You will be showing both where you are right now and then where you want to go.

Here are the three areas that you will be setting goals in: 1) Home life: This is a goal about your life outside of school. Maybe you want to been seen as more responsible at home. Or spend more time with your little brother? Maybe you want to help out with more chores? Or perhaps you want to have better communication with you and your mom? 2) School (academics): This is a goal about schoolwork. Maybe you want to turn in all of your homework? Maybe you want to pass all of your classes this quarter? Or perhaps your goal is to ask more questions in class when you don’t understand something? 3) Social (school and home): This is a goal about how you interact with other people. Maybe you want to be kinder to people? Maybe you would like to try to get to know the new kid? Or perhaps you want to try to meet new people by joining a sport or activity? Or maybe you want your neighborhood more friendly.

Steps to success: 1) Decide where you are right now in each area of your life. 2) Decide where you want to get to in each area of your life. 3) Find visuals that show where you are at and add them to your poster. 4) Once you have your visuals added to your poster then add your goals. These should be goals that help you get to where you want to be.

Try it on: Novice: Students will need clear structure with this, and may need some help with goal setting/brainstorming prior to actually producing the dream board. Make sure there is enough staff and time to help plan before producing the final product. Consider building a work sheet to help brainstorm and plan.

Experienced: This exercise can take many forms, it will be important to frame the activity well but also let students be creative. If students feel passionately about their dream board consider letting them take it home to help them continue focusing on their goals each day.

Assessing Impact: This exercise will help students identify tangible steps towards achieving their goals, hopes and dreams. This outline of their goals will help them to continue to take small steps during each group meeting to meet those goals. These posters can be sent home, hung up in the program room, or brought to each activity to help remind students of where they are starting and where they would like to be. Success looks like students actively working towards and achieving their goals based on the work that they put into this project. This work helps the student stay focused and gives the adults in their lives a tool and information to review when the student is experiencing both success and struggle.

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