SPED Guidance Lesson
By: Nina Martinsen
Topic: Career and Academic Planning: How do we work through challenges and how do we make decisions?
Grade level: 10th grade
Rationale: In this lesson, students will gain knowledge about how to make decisions and how to overcome obstacles that can get between us and a future goal. It is important for students to understand how to face challenges that may get in the way of their career path or doing well in a high school class. By participating in this lesson, students will be able to describe future goals, discuss possible obstacles, how to problem solve, and learn skills they can use in their future classes or life experiences. To show that the students have learned how to make decisions and problem solve, each student will fill out a post assessment asking them about their future goal, obstacles they may face, resources to access, and internal qualities they can use to reach their goals.
Applicable standard(s), objective(s), competency(ies):
-Students will gain an understanding of different ways they can overcome an obstacle.
-Students will learn how to problem solve to reach their goal.
-Students will work together to discuss challenges and use creativity and teamwork to come up with a solution.
-Students will learn the importance of planning for the future.
Overview: To help students identify career and academic goals with associated obstacles. Help them to practice problem solving real-life situations in order to reach their goal.
Activate previous knowledge: In opening, discuss previous lesson about career and academic goals. Discuss current problem solving techniques and their effectiveness.
Create anticipation: allow students to be creative, brainstorm possible situations, and to make each situation personal to their lives.
Developmental Learning Activities designed to meet the objective(s)
Introduction: counselor will begin a conversation about the importance of overcoming obstacles that get in our path towards a goal. It is important for students to understand that obstacles are a natural part of life and that we each have internal qualities and outside resources that help us overcome these hardships.
Activity 1: Creating obstacles
Students will get into pairs and stand facing each other. One student will be the obstacle creator and the other the solver. The obstacle creator will draw with their hands/body an obstacle that the solver needs to get around, over, or through. the solver will then attempt to maneuver through the obstacle. Students will switch roles after a few minutes.
Debrief: The group will get back together and the counselor will ask similar questions-
-How did you feel when you were approaching the obstacle?
-What thoughts were going through your head to try to solve the problem?
-Did you think of different ways to solve it?
-What makes you try something or not?
-Were there movements that were more difficult than others?
-Notice how it feels to be confronted with an obstacle. How do you respond to it?
-Where do you feel it in your body? Does it cause you to move in a particular way?
Activity 2: Identifying academic obstacles and resources
Transition: when we approach an academic obstacle, we many encounter similar feelings to a physical obstacle. There are two directions we should look to find a solution to these problems – internally and externally.
-Have students identify internal qualities that help them succeed and external resources to access to solve a problem. These will be written on the board for everyone to see.
-Ask questions like: what qualities does a person have who can solve problems? Who can help you with a problem? What kind of effort will it take to accomplish a goal? What are skills of someone who reaches their goal?
-Then have students list an academic goal and 2-3 obstacles they may face when achieving their goal. Have students write each obstacle on individual index cards.
-Next, get students back into their pairs and trade obstacle cards with their partner. For example, student A will hold student B’s obstacle cards to show them as they practice overcoming their obstacle.
-In the activity, the student pairs will show an obstacle to their partner. The partner will then discuss why this is an obstacle and identify 3 resources (both external and internal) that they can use to solve their problem.
-Debrief: once each partner shares their obstacle with one another, students will join the larger group again and discuss thought processes.
-Did you feel similarities or differences between the physical and academic barrier when trying to solve it? What led you to choose certain resources over others? Describe your thought process when you saw the obstacle in front of you.
-Make sure students are writing down their thought process and resources used on their worksheet.
How do these activities meet the objectives of the lesson?
These activities help students connect a physical obstacle challenge with a mental/ academic one. It also allows them to be exposed to the fact that they have internal qualities that allow them to be successful already as well as community and school resources they can access. Processing through the thought process on how to solve a problem will help students verbalize how to approach an obstacle they may face.
Summarize: We are here to learn how we approach obstacles and identify resources that we can use to overcome obstacles we face.
Post-assessment: have students fill out handout while working and at end of lesson to:
-Identify one academic goal
-Identify three obstacles/challenges you may face in reaching this goal
-Identify three external resources that are available to help you through these challenges
-Identify three internal qualities that can help you in reaching this goal
-Board to write where everyone can see.
-Room to move and explore.
-Note cards/Obstacle cards (3 per person): for example, an obstacle may be “parents”, “got the cold”, or “sport practice after school”. Allow students the opportunity to create their own obstacles that they have experienced.
-Prepared resource list students can use for help.
-Handouts for students to write academic/career plan.