How to Create Goals & Objectives for a Preschool Lesson Plan

Games teach kids both gross motor coordination and social skills.
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Preschool games and activities are generally very simple exercises targeted at building awareness of the world and positive self-esteem in children. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t go into those games with firm intent of what you want kids to take away from them. Instead of flying blind, create goals and objectives beforehand for a well-rounded lesson.

Type out your lesson before you decide on goals and objectives, as your lesson will dictate what range of skills kids might take away from it. Design your lessons to be multifaceted, so that games like holding hands and walking together results in a focus both on the sense of touch as well as learning to cooperate with and respect others.

Understand the difference between goals and objectives: objectives usually refer to specific behaviors or skills that students will learn, such as “participate in group discussions,” while goals refer to intangible values such as “be part of the group.” Fit the objectives to the goal or the goal to the objective, depending on which is more important to you.

Identify what you want your goal or goals to be for the particular lesson or game you have in mind. Focus on large ideas such as “exploring the world around you” or “respecting others and shared spaces.”

Craft more targeted objectives for how you want this group game to play out, and what you want your students to take away from it. Begin with stem phrases such as “After the lesson, students will be able to … ” or “By completing this unit, students will have … ” followed by the specific objective. Choose objectives related to your intended game, such as “focusing on the sense of touch” or “hold hands respectfully for an extended period of time.”

Tailor your lesson’s instructions from beginning to end so that kids know what they’re focusing on. Start by telling them what you’re focusing on today and how they’re going to learn it, then continue to state the intention of the lesson as you give directions such as “take the hands of the people next to you gently and stand still.”

Ask students to talk about what they’ve learned, using leading questions like “how does respectfully holding hands help us learn about touch?”

  • Decide beforehand whether to work from smaller to larger, or the other way around. If you are targeting a specific objective, choose a goal that embraces it. If instead you are working on an overarching goal, choose a few objectives that target that skill in kids.

Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. She holds a master's degree in journalism.