Happy New Year! Let’s empower our students to set some goals and get creative by making a vision board. I kicked off my return to school by observing a great lesson with Kat Heitman and some high school students attending a short-term program at TSBVI. Using the Empowered Curriculum and a little bit of creativity, Kat journeyed with her students to set short and long-term goals while infusing technology, literacy, and fine motor skills.
- Unit 13 – Dreaming About Your Future, Activity 3: Dream, Dream, Dream from the Empowered Self-Determination Curriculum (optional as a reference).
- Vision Board Project Instructions handout
- Card stock or poster board
- Glue sticks
- Writing utensils or technology
- Sheet of tactile images
- Using the lesson referenced from the Empowered Curriculum and/or the Vision Board Project Instructions handout, host a discussion on dreams, goals, and taking action to achieve them. Discuss short-term and long-term goals, and how big dreams can be achieved by breaking them down into smaller steps. The instructions document can be shared with students so that they can read about the project using assistive technology prior to hosting the discussion.
- Discuss the tradition of viewing the new year as a fresh start and different ways people document their resolutions and aspirations.
- Create your own vision board to share with your students. Discuss your goals for the upcoming year, for the next 5 years, and the next 10 years.
- Provide students with magazines, writing tools, and technology to find images and words to collect for their vision boards. Create tactile images for students who may want or need to use them during the project.
- Add print or braille to the boards to document the symbolism of each image. This can be done using words from magazines, laptops, or conventional writing tools.
- Practice social skills and self-determination by hosting a show-and-tell so that students can share about their dreams.
Adaptations and Extensions
- Support fine motor demands by cutting and gluing items for each student.
- Reduce the time frames for goal setting. As a prerequisite, you could even suggest goals for this afternoon, tomorrow, and next week.
- Use a template with spots for a specific number of items.
- Offer choices for potential goals using developmentally appropriate language.
- Email the instructions document to students to encourage independent use of technology to acquire the information on their own.
- Encourage students to answer the questions in the instructions document and email it back to you or print it to turn in.
- Encourage students who want specific images to search for them and send them electronically. This can be done through email, by creating a document with many images, or by putting them into a slideshow to share.
- Revisit vision boards periodically to discuss progress and celebrate successes.
- Instruct students to choose a goal and research how it might be achieved using technology. For example, one student wanted to learn karate. He could be asked to research karate classes in his hometown to determine what steps or considerations are required for achieving this goal.