Labels can be a tricky endeavor.
Bucket Lists, Life Lists, Things to do Before you Die list – they are all synonyms for the same type of list. I finally landed on the LIFE LIST label because it seemed the most positive especially when using the writing exercise with younger children.
The students make a list of 10 things they would like to do in their lifetime. I tell them the list can contain big life changing items or small things that are important to them. To help them generate ideas I also use verbal prompts. Examples are:
Where is a place you would like to travel?
What is something you would like to learn?
Who is someone you would like to meet? Famous or not?
What is a job you would like to have?
What type of family, if any, would you like to have?
Once they make a list of things they would like to do, see, learn, and become then a favorite is chosen. I usually tell the students to put a star next to their favorite entry on the list.
Now they have to write an activity or something they can do right now to get a little closer to their goal. What does that look like?
For example, I had a 5th grader that he wanted to be a professional artist. His list of NOW actions and micromovements were:
- Draw everyday
- Enroll in an art class
- Pay more attention in art special at school
- Check out drawing and other art books from the library
We also had a conversation about him playing with different mediums to find out which one he really liked. He had a specific interest in drawing but after more conversation starting talking about chalk, charcoal, and paints.
After this class time, he realized there were a lot of opportunities for him to work towards something he thought he had to wait to be an adult to accomplish. He realized he could have some impact on a really big life goal that he thought was much farther down the road.
A student that has LEARN A LANGUAGE on his/her list is a possibility. Actions that can be taken now are:
- Learn 10 words in that language
- Download the Duolingo app onto their phone and use it 10 minutes a day
- Use Google translate to hear some phrases
My own LIFE LIST has morphed over the years but here are some of my own adventures and goals:
- Meet Neil Gaiman
- Become an active member of a writing group
- See the sun come up from my cabin in Minnesota
- Go on a Road Trip with no Predetermined Destination
- Learn how to speak conversational German
- Go to the counter at the airport and buy a ticket to the next available flight
- Attend Oktoberfest in Germany
- Write a book
- Try a new food every time I travel
- Learn how to box
- Be invited to do a TED talk
If you would like to check out some other lists to use as mentor text examples here are some links: