It’s My Life

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Career Development

    Course : Career Portals: Middle School

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (4) The student explores the professional skills needed for college and career success. The student is expected to:
      • (C) develop a personal six- or eight-year achievement plan that incorporates rigorous academic and relevant enrichment courses
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • establish short-term and long-term goals for their future
    • create a personal eight-year plan that includes activities necessary to reach career goals
  • Rationale


    Do you know what you will be doing eight years from now? How many of you know what you will be doing eight hours from now? In this lesson each of you will create a tentative plan for the next eight years of your life.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Three 45 minute class period

  • Word Wall

    Academic Goal: A goal that relates to your education or training

    Career Preparation: Core activities that help youth become prepared for a successful future in careers or post secondary education institutions including career awareness activities that expose young people to information about the job market, job related skills, the wide variety of jobs that exist and the education and training they require, as well as the work environment where they are performed

    Goal: A statement of something a person wants or needs to do

    Lifestyle: The typical way of life of an individual, group, or culture

    Long-term Goal: A goal that will take more than a year to achieve

    Personal Goal: A goal that is related to your individual interests

    Priorities: Something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives

    Realism: Concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary

    Short-term Goal: A goal that can be achieved within a year

    Values: Relative worth, utility, or importance

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • presenter/remote


    roll of butcher paper or legal sized copy paper

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Post names (and pictures, if available) of successful individuals who have overcame adversity ( see All Lesson Attachments tab) around the classroom. As students enter the classroom, have them explore the gallery.

    Ask the following questions:

    • What do all of these individuals have in common? (Answer: They have all overcome some type of obstacle in their life.)
    • What do you know about these individuals?
    • What obstacles did they overcome?


    Each of these individuals overcame specific obstacles in their lives. Despite being faced with adversity, they were able to reach their goals and do something amazing with their lives. We all have obstacles in our lives, whether it is something obvious to others, or something small that only we notice.

    If time permits, allow students to personalize their Word Cloud (see all Lessons Attachments tab) and place in their class folder/binder as a cover sheet for any other documents related to this lesson this lesson.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Distribute graphic organizer, Setting Goals KWHL Chart, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and have students fill out the first two columns of the chart. Ask students to write down what they already know about setting goals. The last column will be completed during lesson closure.

    Distribute handout, It’s My Life Note-taking, and introduce PowerPoint™, It’s My Life! (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Allow time for classroom activities.

    Incorporate additional activities related to decision-making and goal setting.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Note to Teacher:
    Before we have students look toward their futures, it is important to acknowledge and validate where they have been and what has led them to this point in time. Prior to this lesson, create your own personal timeline to share with your students. Begin with the date of your birth and highlight 10 important milestones in your life (birth of a siblings, death of a loved one, graduation from high school, graduation from college, automobile accident, birth of a child, first teaching assignment) ending with the current year and your teaching assignment. Then project milestones/goals/dreams that you have for the next ten years of your life.

    Inform students that they will be creating their own personal timelines. Share your timeline with students. . Distribute and thoroughly review the components of Rubric for Personal Lifestyle Timeline (see All Lesson Attachments tab), so that students understand how their projects will be assessed. Instruct students to utilize the information from the Future Projection chart and Personal Lifestyle Profile they created in the previous create their Personal Lifestyle Timeline

    Assist students as they create a list or a draft of items for their timeline. Once list is approved, provide students with Timeline (see All Lesson Attachments tab) or with butcher paper or a legal sized sheet of paper. Provide the following: magazines, scissors, glue/glue sticks/ markers and/or colored pencils. Encourage students to be creative as they develop their own personal timelines.

    Allow students to share their timelines with the class. Post timelines on the walls in the classroom.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Script: Now that you have each completed your personal timelines, you are ready to look toward the future
    Distribute handout, Outline of My Eight Year Plan (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and Rubric for Career Portals IT’S MY LIFE Project (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Inform students that assignment must be prepared individually.

    Once students have completed the handout, Outline of My Eight Year Plan, they may begin working on a visual/multimedia project – Storyboard, Powerpoint™, Prezi™ or other approved format for their personal It’s My Life Presentation.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking
    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback
    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment
    • assisting student in gathering information
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • Lesson Closure

    Students will share their It’s My Life visual projects to the class.

    Review objectives, terms, and definitions.

    Complete graphic organizer, Setting Goals KWHL Chart, to analyze what they have learned about setting goals. Have students volunteer to share their eight year plans with the class.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    It’s My Life project/presentations will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

    Word cloud, Eight Year Plan and rubric maybe placed in Career Portfolio.

  • References/Resources


    • Great Failures of the Extremely Successful by Steve Young
      Includes information about famous people and the obstacles and/or adversities they overcame.


    • Legacy
      The Legacy Project inspires students to explore their dreams through Susan V. Bosak’s short story, Dream. The companion website has many great supplemental activities to use with the book.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Locate and read the short story, Dream by Susan V. Bosak to your students or, if you are able to acquire a class set, have students read the book. This is a great book that inspires students to explore their dreams. The following companion website has many great supplemental activities to use with this book:

  • Quotes

    The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
    -Ben Stein

    Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
    -Golda Meir

    In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
    -Albert Einstein

    Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching, I’ve learned from making mistakes.
    -Rick Pitino

    Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparations for their victories.
    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    You don’t drown by falling in the water; You drown by staying there.
    -Edwin Louis Cole

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • It’s My Life!
    • Presentation Notes for It’s My Life!


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • Setting Goals KWHL Chart
    • It’s My Life Note-taking


    • Rubric for Career Portals IT’S MY LIFE Project
    • KEY -Overcoming Adversity
    • My Personal Timeline
    • Outlining My 8 Year Plan
    • Overcoming Adversity

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • Next year I plan to __________.
    • After high school I will __________.
    • Describe three people who can help you achieve your goals.

    Writing Strategy:

    • Describe your dream life 20 years from now. Include where you plan to live and work, what type of car you plan to drive, if you will have a family of your own, etc.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • Describe a short-term goal and your plans to achieve it.
    • Describe a long-term goal and your plans to achieve it.
    • Explain why goals are important.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Have students create an eight-year timeline poster. For each year, have students cut out a picture from a magazine or draw a picture that is related to the goals listed on their My Eight Year Plan assignment.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Bring in prominent members of the community to share with students their life plans. Encourage the speakers to share the importance of making a plan for one’s life.

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    STAR Events:

    Career Investigation: An individual event – recognizes participants for their ability to perform self-assessments, research and explore a career, set career goals, create a plan for achieving goals, and describe the relationship of Family and Consumer Sciences coursework to the selected career.

    Leadership: An individual event, recognizes participants who actively evaluate and grow in their leadership potential. Participants use the Student Leadership Challenge and supporting materials, to investigate their leadership ability and develop a mentorship relationship to further their leadership development.

  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see

    Possible idea: Gather a panel of speakers to talk about overcoming adversity to achieve academic and personal goals with community members. Then encourage participants to make a goals contract similar to My Eight Year Plan.

  • All Attachments