Middle School Students Craft Personal Vision Statements

Mrs. Laura Fagan, Middle School Social Studies teacher, challenged her students to design cover art and reflections as part of pre-reading activities to launch a novel study in her advisory class. The novel, “Refugee,” is being used in seventh grade as a springboard to discuss, reflect upon and reinforce enduring character traits such as responsibility, trustworthiness, empathy, and grit.
Students were instructed about the purpose and use of vision statements. They then engaged in designing their own vision statements to capture their ‘WHY’ to guide and support their personal success throughout the school year. Vision statements were hung on a pennant and the students were able to decorate and adorn their pennant to reflect their personal vision. The creations hang outside the classroom to help students remain tethered to their desired path.
Within the historical units of study, students produce authentic evidence of their content understanding and skill growth through task choices that highlight unique talents and skills. We engage in constructing public displays of their content understanding in a way where students have a voice in how they do so and what talents they apply in the design and creation.
“I was both thrilled and amazed as the thoughtfulness of the student’s vision statements – they provided a unique snapshot of each learner’s path and desired outcome,” said Mrs. Fagan. “The varied and diverse ways the content understanding and skill growth were displayed in the historical tasks highlighted the diversity among my students – which is something to celebrate.”