Have you ever used a chart to track your progress on a task at school or chores at home? Did the chart inspire you to work toward your goal? Why or why not?
Have you ever made and kept a New Year's resolution? If yes, what kept you on track? If no, what stopped you from achieving your goal?
Think of a broad goal that you'd like to achieve in the coming year. What is one tiny habit that could help you get started and possibly reach your goal?
Would you be more or less likely to follow through a New Year's resolution if you kept your plans to yourself or shared your goal with others? Why?
- Poll the class to see how many students made a New Year's resolution this year. Poll the class again to see how many students are still keeping their resolutions and how many are already off track.
- As a class, discuss reasons why most people fail to stay true to the goals they set with each new year. Then examine the ideas from the article that experts say can bolster people's chances of achieving New Year's resolutions. Discuss the merits of each.
- Encourage students to think about their own lives. What helped them achieve some goals and what stopped them from accomplishing others? Based on these experiences, have students compile a list of simple tricks that could help others stick to their goals.
- Divide the class into small groups. Challenge group members to use their lists of simple tricks to create a system that would help people keep their New Year's resolutions. Encourage them to sketch a picture and write a detailed description explaining how their system would work. Then have each group think of a way to market its new system to the public.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Do you strive to be happier and smile more in the new year? Well, here’s a great place. May you be as happy as a panda in the snow all year long!
Are better eating habits on your elementary students’ list of New Year’s resolutions? If so, this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum could be just what you need to get them off to a great start. The comprehensive lesson is designed to provoke conversation around healthy food and eating habits both at school and at home.
Helping your community “go green” is a growing ambition, but achieving this goal can oftentimes be a question of communication and design. Use this Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson to challenge middle school students to design a new symbol or “eco-icon” to explain the need to conserve energy, promote renewable energy and/or make the connection between energy use and climate change.
Habits die hard, but researchers have the first clue toward neurologically shutting down bad ones. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn more.
Do your high school students aspire to do a better job of meeting deadlines in the coming year? If so, use this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to take them through the design process to develop a system of time management for themselves and others.
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why setting up healthy new habits, not controlling your behavior when stressed, may be the more effective way to cut back on eating or spending sprees.
A lack of festive atmosphere wasn’t the only issue. Read this Smithsonian magazine to learn how the city’s snowless New Year’s points to the serious effects of climate change on Russia.