Vision Boards Guest Post

Today I'm excited because I'm guest posting for the Character Educator {here}. One of the most-viewed guest posts at the Corner this summer was Empathy in a (Shoe) Box and guess what? 
She's baaaaack! 
Welcome, Tanya, and thank you for being my guest blogger today!

Vision Boards by Tanya Kirschman

If you're looking for a fun way to review goal-setting and staying focused on those goals as students enter middle school the following year, then why not make a Vision Board. I like to do this activity with my older students (usually 6th graders) in individual counseling, but it'd work great in the classroom as well.

Supplies: First you’ll need some appropriate magazines and catalogs that you no longer want (students will be cutting images out of them), an artist’s canvas flat panel board from a craft store like Michaels (the 9” x 12” size works best for me), a pencil, glue stick, marker and a blank sheet of paper.

Step 1: Ask the student to list several goals she has for her life on the blank paper. The direction is very open-ended at this point. Some students are comfortable with the limited instruction and start writing, while others ask for specific guidelines. If the student is apprehensive, I direct her to think about the following goals (or what she wants her life to look like) for the next year, by the time she graduates from high school, by the time she’s 30 years old, etc.:

* what do you want to accomplish?
* what (material) items do you want in your life?
* who do you want in your life?
* where do you want to travel?
* what will be important to you?
* what will you buy with your money?
* where will you live?

Discuss these goals as the student reveals them to you.

Step 2: For the student who has already written things on his paper and didn’t need the initial direction, I ask the questions in Step 1 to develop his list further.

Step 3: Explain to the student that she is going to be looking through magazines to find pictures or words (or letters to make her own words) that symbolize the goals she’s written on her paper. Do NOT cut anything out yet.  Simply tear out pages with the representative images on them and start making a pile. This step may take several sessions. Students may see images in a magazine and think of additional goals. She should write those on her paper, too. I help the student look for pictures and words that might represent her goals as well. However, the student always has the choice to use (or decline) my findings.

Step 4: Instruct the student to cut out the images and words he wants to keep and arrange them on the artist’s canvas like a collage. The student will glue everything down when the arrangement is to his liking. Students may also write on the board with a marker.

photo of a Vision Board
 A vision board made by one of my students.

Step 5: Talk about the purpose of the vision board. Put in a prominent place in her room at home, the vision board prompts her focus on her goals. When she looks at the board each morning, she is unconsciously going to make choices throughout her day that are consistent with moving toward her goals. Students sign and date the back of their board and take it home.

** This activity has also been very effective in working with students who struggle with trust, or who simply don’t want to “go to the counselor."  It focuses on their FUTURE instead of their current situation, which is often less threatening (however those issues are addressed in later sessions when we’ve built a better rapport).

1 comment

  1. Barbara, Thanks for having Tanya Guest Blog!!! This is a great idea and the final product looks amazing!!


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